Indicators and the means of measuring them may be thought of as the ‘heart’ of the Landscape Measures approach. Determining what indicators of landscape performance to use and how to measure them is vital to producing an assessment that will tell stakeholders whether or not their landscape is ‘moving in the right direction’ with respect to their goals.
If you choose the right indicators and measure them appropriately, you will have a sound basis for knowing how your landscape is performing. If you choose indicators that do not actually measure what they are intended to, or you do not measure them thoughtfully, the picture of the landscape that emerges may be faulty.
It can be a challenge to determine what the most effective indicators and measures should be for a particular landscape situation. There is likely to be a high payoff in learning and in mobilizing action, however, from a well-managed process of selecting indicators and the means of measuring them. It is worthwhile, therefore, to put concerted effort into this element of the landscape assessment process.
The five sections below will guide you in selecting appropriate indicators for your landscape, and the means for measuring them.