The Environment Agency recently released their database of River Habitat Surveys (RHS) as open data, available from the GeoStore under the Open Government Licence. RHS is described as the ‘standard for collecting data on the physical character and quality of river habitats across the UK’. The data comes in the from of an Open Office XML spreadsheet, and includes survey data collected in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 1994 – present.
The location of the survey points are given as grid references, either using the British National Grid (EPSG:27700) for sites in Great Britain, or the Irish Grid (EPSG:29903) for sites in Northern Ireland. To display the data in a GIS these grid references need to be converted into easting and northing coordinates. This post describes how this can be achieved using Python.