Ways to conduct social surveys and interviews to support restoration

A survey or interview is essentially a way to collect data from people.

There are numerous ways to undertake social surveys depending on the level of detail and rigour required, the type of data (qualitative or quantitative) and the resources, both in terms of time and money, available. These include Postal Surveys, Telephone Surveys or Interviews and Face to Face Interviews. 

This list is not exhaustive and in many cases it may be beneficial to use a combination of approaches. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages.

The choice of survey method (or methods) will depend on resource availability and the nature of the information required to meet the objectives and research approach of the social component within the overall restoration project.  For example, if the objective is to uncover demographic data and general perceptions and values associated with the potential restoration area then collection of data from large numbers of people in less detail which can be simply quantified (i.e., postal surveys or web surveys) may be most appropriate.  However, face to face interviews may be more suitable if a detailed picture around how and why people value or understand natural areas is required.