When conducting habitat assessments it is often quite problematic making sense of the results as inter-site variation can be quite substantial, and changes over time can similarly vary from site to site. This can especially be the case when trying to rapidly rank sites in order of conservation priority status. The project set out to develop a tool that looked at a minimal number of easily collected variables, and use them to assess initial structural habitat ‘health’ of each study site (i.e. identifying the most diverse areas with highest health indices) and rank them accordingly. Using subsequent years rapid assessment data, changes in these key variables were ranked against each other and between sites, to ascertain a ‘conservation priority’ status, i.e. which sites were declining most rapidly from the initial baseline and as such may be candidates for increased levels of environmental protection.