Infrastructure & Path Issue Surveys

Planning and carrying out annual trail surveys and work programmes are a major part of your trail management.

OTISS maintains an inventory of infrastructure, path issues and trees which can be viewed on maps, spreadsheets and reports.

Inspection Cycles

  • Natural England’s requirement to undertake an annual survey of each National Trail can be achieved with OTISS.
  • Your staff and trained volunteers can quickly and efficiently inspect each item on the trail; note its condition, take a photo, and make recommendations of work to be carried out.
  • Similarly, new and existing path issues can be updated and photographed.
  • The trail managers can then create a multi-year maintenance programme. This plan will be driven by the recommendations, but will also be influenced by a range of other factors including; budget constraints, development plans for the trail; the opinions/concerns of landowners and neighbours, etc. These plans are essential when managing your staff and resources.
  • A preplanned rolling programme of inspection cycles should result in a higher standard of maintenance and more predictable repair/replacement budgets.

Day to day management…

  • Between these inspection cycles, the infrastructure may suffer from damage, vandalism, wear and tear, etc. Your staff (rangers, wardens, etc.) may require further maintenance work or inspections to be carried out on individual items.
  • The Path Survey Android™ application makes it very convenient for staff to use their mobile phone/tablets to create new inspection records and work items – especially when they are on-site and notice something that needs attending to.

Trail Surveys

An OTISS ‘survey’ is created to plan and carry out an inspection cycle on a selected section of the trail/network. The same survey is used for both infrastructure and path issues. This ‘survey‘ record contains general information about aims, restrictions, weather on the day, overall findings, etc. Whereas an ‘inspection‘ record is stored for each item of furniture or path issue; this includes inspection date, inspector’s name, measurements, overall condition, detailed survey notes, inspection cycle, recommendations and time scales. See the full listing of furniture survey data stored by OTISS for each inspection.

  • Traditionally, inspections have been carried out using pen and paper. Using OTISS, previous reports can be printed before the survey and then amended on-site. Data collected in this way can be entered directly into OTISS via any Web browser.
  • Inspections can also be carried out using your mobile phone or tablet (only Android at present). With the Path Survey app, you can view, update and create new furniture inspections. The maps, photos and data are synchronised between OTISS and your phone/tablet.
  • The survey form can be customised to suit each your needs, with pre-configured fields and picklists.

All new inspections are linked to the current active survey for that section. When this survey is set to the ‘closed’ state. then these records are effectively frozen. Over the years, the survey records provide an audit trail and history of your trail management.

Building Reports

OTISS provides a set of pre-defined PDF reports and Excel spreadsheets to provide summary charts and detailed information about the surveyed trees.

In addition, you can create a set of Excel Report Templates to layout your own style, fonts, colours, column widths, border, formatting, etc. Select which data columns to include and which summary tables to provide some key statistics: e.g. condition, species, etc. Upload your prepared template to OTISS and the spreadsheet is immediately returned to you with the requested data. More about Excel Report Templates...

Reports can be created for individual sites or for the entire estate. You can also select what to include in a report, you can search and sort your data using multiple criteria. For example:

  • “include those assets on a particular site that need work doing on them this year”,
  • “include all assets that are due for inspection within the next 6 months”,

The Summary reports are ideal for management committees, stakeholders, boards of trustees. The detailed reports for day-to-day management. Here are some of the pre-defined PDF reports as examples of what you could achieve.

Maintenance Programmes

When all the data has been collected from the surveys, it can be used to plan your maintenance programme and next inspection cycles.

TreeSafety excel chart 1

  • OTISS provides pre-defined PDF reports and Excel spreadsheets to list the survey recommendations. In addition, you can set up your own Excel Report Templates (styles, columns, charts, etc) and OTISS will fill in the data. More about Excel Report Templates...
  • The spreadsheet page allows you to search and sort your data using multiple criteria.
  • The map page allows you see which items have been inspected as part of a particular survey.
  • If required, specialised data processing can be carried out by downloading the raw data into an Excel spreadsheet.