HQA is fundamentally designed to assess the relative quality of site and its potential for further developments and management activities. Scoring is so far an effective technique for assessment of systems, especially when system is like rivers which are dynamic complex in nature. Habitat Quality Assessment score is merely a source of studying diversification and naturalness of the river or catchment. HQA score helps in investigating two major areas;
Effect of potential changes at the catchment or river
HQA score is professionally designed considering expert opinion to evaluate rivers, especially, of England and Wales. To score the habitat quality in a stretch of river some important features are noted and scored separately. Among these features, flow type was the first one to be recorded and score. It was observed that at most of the most flow was rippled. Smooth flow was also observed at one spot and broken standing wave at another. Flow observed in sweep up section shows presence of broken standing waves and smooth flow, and extensive presence of rippled flow. Presence of marginal dead water is also observed. Next thing to be observed was channel substrate. Gravel and pebble are observed in the channel substrate while most of the part was not visible. When channel features were observed, according to River habitat Survey, only Vegetated mid-channel bar was found, both in spot checks and sweep up. Bank features were also observed during RHS, which results no observations in spot-checks. But in sweep up section stable cliffs, vegetated side bars and vegetated point bars are found. Next element to be noted for HQA is bank vegetation structure. It was observed, on both banks that bank faces and bank tops are simple or complex. Point bars also contribute to the HQA score. Floating leaves and free floating vegetation types were observed which contributed to HQA score. Land use within, trees, associated features were also noted for Habitat Quality Assessment score.