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HRH Princess Anne shown how to count birds by HiDef

HiDef Aerial Surveying Limited today received a royal visit from HRH Princess Anne at its head office in Cleator Moor, Cumbria. She was introduced to staff members and shown how the innovative technique for counting seabirds and mammals at sea has completely changed established methods. The system was developed with the support of the directors of React Engineering, who she also visited today, helping to build the company from the ground to become the global leaders in offshore wildlife surveys.

The HiDef method is used at most offshore wind farms for characterising and monitoring wildlife and Princess Anne was shown the technique for reviewing video footage and how to identify birds and marine mammals by HiDef’s staff. The company has become an important employer in the area and provides training for younger staff members through apprenticeships.

HiDef Managing Director Andy Webb said today “It was an honour to be selected by the Royal Household for this visit and is testament to the hard work that the staff have put into building this company up from the ground ten years ago”. He added “Her Royal Highness was very attentive and inquisitive and was fascinated by how much detail it is possible to obtain from video footage taken at 1800 feet above the sea and by some of the unusual creatures we have witnessed. She was able to identify some birds herself.”

HiDef's Operations Manager, Catherine Irwin explains data checks to The Princess Royal

The Princess Royal is shown how HiDef reviewers find birds among video streams by Lynn Hobbs, with Andy Webb, MD imembers of the review team

Bird and marine mammal identification expert shows how we identify objects in the video footage to species level to The Princess Royal.Also in attendance were HM Lord Lieutenant Claire Hensman and her husband, Pete Woolaghan (React Engineering) and HRH's Lady in Waiting