There is a well-established need to monitor land use and ecological change so that appropriate policies for the maintenance and enhancement of biodiversity can be developed. By building such exercises around sound scientific principles the reliability of the results can be quantified and policy makers can have confidence that they are genuinely independent. This paper describes two case studies of the development of such systems, the Small Biotope project of Denmark and the Countryside Survey project of Great Britain. These systems illustrate the problems involved in studies at the landscape level and the way satisfactory results can be achieved. Monitoring is considered to be effectively repeated surveillance and needs especially strict protocols to separate real change from the artefacts of sampling. The lessons to be learnt from these studies are summarised as a number of guidelines.\u
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