Exhibition Stands: What’s the Best Location at a Trade Show?

Understanding exhibition design and build methods are a key component to making an impact at every trade show your organisation will attend. However, another factor that will make your booth a success or not is knowing where the best location is to have your exhibition stand featured. Trade shows are incredibly busy places and there are areas where you want your booth to be located. Continue reading below to find out the top 5 locations to have your organisation featured.

A Typical Exhibition Floor Plan

A Typical Exhibition Floor Plan. Image credit: EIS Everywhere

Find out the floor plan

Before you even decide on your booth design and marketing strategies for the next trade show, you will want to find out the exhibition floor plan looks like from the event planner. You will want to be able to understand where certain industries will be located, where refreshment and relaxation areas are located as well as washroom spaces and locations that are guaranteed to have more attendees that have higher traffic. Picking the right location can directly impact your return on investment.

Know your neighbours

It is essential that you know of the other booths and exhibitions being featured around your area. If all of your neighbours are in the same industry as your organisation this could create issues. However, having your booth placed near an industry leader can bring you more traffic to your booth. Also choosing to be close to another booth that complements your brand or products can also be beneficial for gaining more visitors and naturally engaging more people which brings more potential leads and customers.

Utilise space

This is not as well known but if your organisation has different branches inside it, you can create different exhibition booths around the event. You can create even greater brand awareness and can focus directly on specific products or services you are promoting. You can create separate booths and stands inside a show and have them featured in different strategic locations to gain more attention and engagement with attendees.

Corner, side and island positions

There are plenty of positions to place your exhibition stand and many of them have benefits as well as negative features. It is noted that side positions are easy to design for and creates the possibility to use an exhibition stand and build designs that can be re-used but have less exposure. Corner locations have naturally more people walking through the area which can help with being noticed. Another idea is to use the main entrance areas of trade shows so you can maximise branding and marketing to people entering the trade show.

Embrace creativity

When you approach a trade show you will naturally have limitations on what you can do with your exhibition design and build. Things like booth placement, allowed height, floor space as well as power supplies will limit you. You can optimise your creativity and use techniques that will maximise your brand and marketing despite limitations. Your best option is to think hard and do brainstorming to get the best effect with what you have available to you.

Trade shows can be rewarding

Maximising your opportunities and what you can do with your brand at a show are only limited by your creativity and imagination. Follow the 5 suggestions above to find the best locations for showcasing your brand.

Seafarers Earnings Deduction: Use It or Lose It!

Earn Tax-Free Income if You Work Offshore

Are you a United Kingdom citizen that happens to work on a ship in foreign waters or employed in an offshore based position? If you answered yes, this special piece of information will share with you a well-kept secret among the HMRC which is a piece of tax legislation that is an exemption that allows you to keep 100% of all your earnings. Many people who are employed offshore in foreign waters do not actually know about the rules and full details of what is known as the Seafarers Earnings Deduction. What it is, is a tax law that allows you to claim a complete tax exemption all earned income outside of the UK in foreign waters. The HMRC created this tax exemption after 18 years of intensive legal battle with trade unions. The final version of this agreement came to the way it is today as of 2012. Now be warned, not all seafaring employed people are able to take advantage of this exemption. The HMRC is well known for being tangled up with different rules, as well as regulations and definitions of what is defined as a seafarer and whether or not he or she can take advantage of the tax exemption.

Many offshore workers are employed aboard super yachts. Image credit: Money Inc.

The Seafarers Earnings Deduction was first passed into legislation way back in time during the 1988 Finance Act. Since then it has been adjusted and improved and the rules and different regulations have changed how this law applies. In fact, the most recent update of this law was back in 2012 and we will discuss the different details and information you need to know. The Seafarers Earnings Deduction was first built to help workers deal with the very competitive and demanding work in the seafaring industry as well as to provide a solution for the defence needs of the national security for the UK. The tax exemption was created to make working offshore in foreign waters more financially beneficial for UK citizens and to help with the globalisation and demands of the labour market. Those who work offshore including on yachts typically do not completely understand the rules of the HMRC because of the confusion behind Help Sheet 205. Reading this piece of paper is like reading a foreign language but we have outlined what is allowed for seafarers to claim this specialised tax exemption.

The HMRC has provided very few details on what exactly is the definition and qualities of a person who is defined as a Seafarer. However what they do mention on the help sheet is that you must work on a ship. Now what exactly defines a ship is varied. The HMRC never outlined what a ship actually is but what they did do is outline what is not considered a ship. You are not capable of using the Seafarers Earnings Deduction if you work on the following which is defined as not ships: flotels, fixed production and floating platforms and mobile offshore drilling and fixed production units. If you are employed on of these listed vessels that unfortunately you will not be able to take advantage of the Seafarers Earnings Deduction.

Since there is a lot of misinformation when it comes to the Seafarers Earnings Deduction many people who work in foreign waters will do two possible things instead of taking advantage of this tax exemption. The very first class of worker will not declare their income or file their taxes which is a gigantic mistake. The UK government has what is known as an Open Information System. If you don’t declare your income they can catch you and penalise you heavily.

Other individuals who do not take advantage of the SED may choose to set up limited companies either in the UK or in different countries in order to pay less in taxes. If you meet the requirements of the SED then, by all means, take advantage of it because you cannot beat not having to pay taxes on your earned income.

Some other seafaring employees will choose not to file their taxes properly because they may not understand the allowed time in the UK per year. Under the Seafarers Earnings Deduction, you are allowed to spend a maximum of a 183 days per tax year in the UK. If you are in the country as of midnight of any given day then it counts as a day inside the UK ashore. Be sure to keep all records and statements that show how much time you have spent in the UK. It is important to keep a record of these receipts and keep them. You may be called upon in the future to display these records so hang on to them.

The Seafaring Earnings Deduction is a great tax exemption. If it applies to you then use it!


This article was created with the help of the following amazing third party websites for use of content including text, images and reference materials:

Advantages & Disadvantages of an American Barn

Treat Your Horses to a Timber Framed American Barn

In the past, it was common when sheds were used to keep the animals contained and farm vehicles stored.

Nowadays, you can build them on your own to create an ample protected area for your cars and other storage.

Besides discussing the uses of such sheds of the past, we will look at the positive and negative features of creating an American barn.

We hope to enlighten you and help you decide if this is an option for you.

The element of an American barn is that it is essentially a large portal framed building which contains stable boxes for animals under one big roof.

The large scale roof comes into contact with vast amounts of rain water for harvesting to recycling and repurpose.

The American barn is typically used when more stables are needed because they offer a much more pragmatic solution to managing livestock.

Within American Barns, the stable boxes are divided into partitions and are accessed through a central aisle that connects all boxes.

The main aisle is usually the same size as the stable boxes with a typical width of 12-14ft.

A Typical American barn Structure & Door Opening. Image credit: A.C Bacon Engineering

A positive feature of the American Barn is that the animals all know where each other is.

This makes the animals a lot more comfortable and easier to maintain.

When horses are stressed or feel isolated they will act out and bring you slightly more issues.

Letting them socialize is a good idea keeping the stables side by side.

Another good feature of the American Barn is that it allows you a lot of space.

You will have a lot of freedom to move around and store vehicles and storage along with your horses.

Secondly, you can keep all of the feed and hay above the horses in the second level of the barn.

This frees up a lot of space. Also, the open area of the American barn allows for natural sunlight and good ventilation.

A positive trait of American barns are under one roof, the stalls, the tack room, wash racks, feeding area, and working areas and storage.

You can go from your horses to stall to the tack room without having to be exposed to the elements.

When the weather acts up, you are protected from the elements and have no need to work outside.

Once the weather clears up you are free to ride.

You will also appreciate an American barn for the fact that they house bathrooms for the people that work in and use the barn.

This makes it an ideal work area where you won’t have to leave your working area to use the facilities.

Also, the American barn provides a lot of space for storing cars, trucks, and farm vehicles.

Not only that but they also offer you an opportunity to have an open working area where you can store tools that are used frequently.

One last benefit we will mention is that the close proximity of stables when an American barn design is used means services like plumbing and lighting can cost you less money to install when it comes to expenses compared to an open yard method which utilizes the stable boxes being spread throughout a much larger area.

Horses are generally happier in barns as they can socialise with others. Image credit: Peak Horse

Now there are also negative features of an American barn.

Although there are not many, we will show you things you will need to know about before you make any decisions on whether you would like to feature a barn on your property.

Take a look at the disadvantages below.

To begin with, when all the stables share the same airspace there is a risk of cross-contamination in an American barn.

The risk is higher than that of a traditional yard where the stables are open to the elements and separated from neighbouring boxes by a solid partition wall.

Natural airflow is an ideal method to reduce the risks of cross-contamination.

A suggested idea is to build the roof pitch of an American barn more than 30 degrees as to allow warm contaminated air to raise up and be ventilated from the ridge of the roof above.

Another negative that we can point out is that housing all the horses using side by side stables in an American Barn with an open area is that horses with dusty allergies can be effected from the spores of straw or hay that will be hovering within the air from the other adjoining horse stables.

This concludes the positives and negatives of using American barns.

So the great news is you can get the very best possible home for your horses and not have to up sticks and move to America from UK to get your hands on a classic styled American barn.

We hope you have learned a thing or two that will help you with deciding if an American barn is suitable for usage.

Site Acknowledgements

The author gratefully recognises the following websites for use of their content via links, images and reference material:

How to improve an old kitchen by spray painting the doors

Give Your Kitchen a Facelift With These Simple Tricks!

In a kitchen it is normal to spill drinks or have food crumbs and stains here and there. Obviously, one does try to be careful but certain defects such as scratches may also make their way on kitchen doors and drawers, especially with little kids and pets. After some years your kitchen may have started looking rather shabby but this is just a matter of its outer shell, that is, the doors and drawers. These are mainly subjected to the most wear and tear after all, and if you were to check the kitchen carcasses you will notice that most likely they are still in a rather good condition. Therefore when considering all this it follows that in most cases there is really no need to remove the whole kitchen and end up forking out thousands so as to install a brand new one. Not to mention the time and mess involved to remove all the items within the cupboards, dismantle and get rid of the old kitchen, and install the new one.

A Painted Kitchen Before & After. Image credit: Klosteria

In reality you can greatly improve your old kitchen by simply undertaking a relatively minor project – spray painting or replacing the doors and drawers. You will be amazed at the big difference this will have on the kitchen’s look, not to mention the fact that it will be a good opportunity to change the colour and the style of your kitchen. Moreover, spray painting or replacing the doors will be a rather quick task when compared to installing a kitchen from scratch, and needless to say, it is much more affordable too. It is worth noting that one would need to take into account the material of the kitchen doors. Wood is the best surface for spray painting so if you have melamine coated MDF, replacing the doors is realistically your only option. If it is laminate, it is not a good idea to spray paint and you should shop around for replacement kitchen doors made to size instead. If you intend to spray your doors, glossy finishes are best removed by sanding first in order to have the paint bond more easily and prevent pealing.

Spray painting kitchen doors is one of the most popular DIY kitchen makeovers. For those who like DIY, it is fairly simple to do this. One will need to remove the old doors, and the knobs or handles and any hardware from them. It is also highly recommended to mark or label each one of them so as to avoid confusion when you install them later on.

One would then need to devote time on cleaning them properly. Grime and other residue is normal on kitchen doors as this is after all where cooking takes place and where there is a lot of vapour, steam and evaporation. Once the doors have been cleaned well, it will be easier to notice any defects that may be removed or tackled in one way or another. Certain scratches for instance may be filled with wood putty of the same colour.

Always Use Primer for a Smoother, Longer Lasting Finish. Image credit: Todays Homeowner

Next you would need to prime the doors. The preferred option is to use oil based primer for the best possible results. Next, you will start painting. Make sure to choose a good quality paint and to apply it evenly when spraying. Once it has dried, apply a second coating. Make sure to keep the room well ventilated and wear a mask.

Once you are done, enjoy your new kitchen doors! Simply install the handles and hardware and hang them onto your kitchen cabinets to have a practically brand new kitchen!

How To Find The Perfect Pair of Everyday Running Shoes

Choosing Your First Pair of Running Shoes

In most cases, as you buy running shoes, you are likely to find sales clerks who can help you find the right model for your type of workout and gait pattern. At the same time, you also need to have as much information regarding the type of shoe that best suits your needs.

Running shoes may appear similar, but they possess some very important differences.

General features of running shoes

  • They should provide extra cushioning because landing generates a force that is 11/2 to 3 times your body weight.
  • The outsoles should be long lasting and provide good traction on dirt and pavements
  • They should provide enough stability and ease of flexing at the ball of the foot.

So, what do you need to do as you shop?

Analyze your gait

You need to understand your gait pattern before you shop for shoes because manufacturers offer running shoes for every type of gait. Do your feet roll inward a lot or overpronate? Then you need motion-control or stabilizing shoes to ease the problem. Underpronators have a high arch while overpronators have a low one.

For a runner whose feet land mostly on the outside edge of a shoe or oversupinate, a cushioning shoe with an emphasis on shock absorption will be ideal.

If you have a pair of running shoes that is well-worn, carry it as you go shopping for another pair. An experienced sales clerk can easily look at the wear pattern and analyze your gait. This will help them recommend the right running shoe for you.

A Gait Analysis Illustration. Image credit: Lane Community College

Find a good fit

As you shop for running shoes, the fit is vital. If a shoe fits badly, you are likely to experience painful feet, discomfort, fatigue, and worse still, joint problems. It will also make such important features like cushioning and motion control less effective.

It is advisable that you go shopping late in the afternoon as your feet tend to swell toward the end of the day. As you fit the shoe, make sure you wear the kind of socks you will be wearing with it and feel for bumps, seams, and rough spots.

Running shoes should feel good right out of the box without having to force your feet into them.

Take a test run

Jog or walk a little in the store, and if possible, ask to be allowed to take them around the block once. If they allow it, ask to buy, then use the shoes briefly on the treadmill at home and return if they do not feel right. This will ensure that you end up with just the right shoe for your needs.

Think about orthotics

Do your feet get sore when you run or walk? Then it might be time for you to try orthotics. Orthotics are custom-made shoe inserts that replace the insoles. They might reduce a shoe’s cushioning, and it is important to consider if the problem can be solved with a new pair or new category of shoes.

Orthotics can be quite expensive.

Mizuno Wave Runner are a popular beginner’s running shoe. Image credit: Amazon

What features should you look for in running shoes?

A shoe that combines flexibility, stability, and cushioning is way better than one that does not. A lightweight and breathable shoe is also recommended. A good example is a brand like Mizuno running shoes that are generally considered to be very good all-round footwear for runners just starting out.

The sole

The sole is comprised of three layers, the outsole, the middle layer, and the insole

The outsole is the bottom layer and it should be made of carbon rubber which is highly durable. It should be patterned or grooved for traction and segmented for flexibility.

The middle layer is squishy and provides most of the cushioning. It should generally be made of shock absorbing foam, though it might also incorporate air sacs or gel and plastic torsion supports.

The insole or sock liner is the layer that is directly underfoot, and it should provide arch support and extra shock absorption. It is usually removable and washable.

The upper

This is the part of the shoe that is above the sole or the body of the shoe. The toe box at the front of the shoe should have enough room to leave about half inch space in front of the longest toe. They should also let your toes spread.

The rear should keep your heel from excessive slipping. If your feet sweat a lot, breathable shoes are the best for you, though less porous material is ideal if you will be running in the cold weather.


Some shoes have extra top eyelets that provide a snug fit at the ankle. Metal, plastic, or fabric, lacing loops make tightening of the laces easier. Round laces are preferable because flat ones are likely to come untied or loose.


If you are fond of jogging at dusk or dawn, reflective tabs on the upper will provide additional safety by reflecting car’s headlights. It makes you more visible to the motorist, therefore the chances of being hit are lower.

How to waterproof MDF sheets

Protect your MDF from moisture penetration

MDF sheets are commonly used to build all sorts of furniture as they are among the cheapest alternatives to wood. It is also very smooth and its surface is consistent, making it ideal for painting as well as when one needs to cut designs which are a bit more detailed. However, before starting to build anything with them, it is a good idea to waterproof MDF sheets. In such a way you would be protecting the sheets from getting damages should they be exposed to water, or moisture. Even though it is a known fact that MDF furniture should not be fitted in a bathroom, for instance, accidents may still happen, such as in the case of spillages and flooding. Hence, it is always a good idea to waterproof MDF sheets so as to reduce the possibility of having such furniture ending up useless or badly deformed once it is exposed to moisture or water.

Water can quickly and easily destroy MDF sheets. Image credit: Popular Woodworking

Waterproofing with paint

Various different types of sheets can be bought from an MDF supplier. It is also easy to find waterproof MDF sheets, which have already undergone the waterproofing process. However these will be more costly than normal MDF sheets. In reality you can waterproof your MDF sheets yourself quite easily and effortlessly.

In fact, waterproofing MDF sheets is neither difficult nor time consuming, and this is just what we shall be discussing hereunder. All it takes is painting the surface area of the MDF boards. One should use a moisture-resistant type of paint so as to create a permanent layer of waterproofing over the MDF sheet.

So basically you will need to buy moisture-resistant paint and later primer. You will also need a roller tray, roller tray liner, a roll cover, and a paintbrush. Simply insert the paint roller into the cover. A 3/8 inch roller cover is generally recommended for this job as it provides a good coverage of the paint onto MDF boards. Place the roller tray liner into the tray, and pour later primer into it. Then, start to apply the primer to the MDF board by using the paint roller. It is important that you allow the primer to dry well. It is best to allow at least six hours to pass.

Make sure you clean all the tools with water so as to remove the primer from the roller and the roller covers. Clean them well so as to be able to use them again later. Next, place the roller cover onto the paint roller, and a new layer of liner in the roller tray.

Now you can paint the boards with the moisture-resistant paint. For the edges you will need to use a paintbrush. The rest of the MDF boards can be painted quickly by using the paint roller. Allow the paint to dry for about four hours. Then it is best to apply a second layer of paint. In this way the coating is more properly applied and the boards will be well covered and waterproofed. Let the last layer of paint to dry for at least three days for best results. From then onwards you may allow your MDF boards to be used near areas where moisture is a bit high.

Adding waterproof sealant to MDF is easy. Image credit: Fine Woodworking

Waterproofing with sealant

Another way is to waterproof MDF boards by using a high quality wood sealant or stain. These are highly water repellent and so they will help the MDF boards to withstand moisture as well as humidity. Such sealants, stains and varnishes have the advantage of coming in various different colors. So it is also a good way to make your MDF boards get the color that you want, while also waterproofing them. MDF is often not considered to be ideal for exterior use. However there are some products which offer an all-year protection for exterior MDF. These offer a guaranteed protection against the elements, including rain and even sunlight. Once the sealant has been applied, it is always best to allow that layer to dry well and apply another coating, for best results.

By following these simple steps you can easily waterproof your MDF boards. From then on you are all set to start using those boards for your woodworking or DIY projects. As you can see there is no need to buy readily waterproofed MDF boards as you can easily waterproof them yourself in a very simple process that basically only involves some painting. The products are not that costly either, and they will make up for their cost when you consider how more resistant your MDF is going to be afterwards.

How to Choose a Good Pair of Astronomy Binoculars

Almost all astronomers, both amateur and professional, own at least one good pair of binoculars and with good reason too. Binoculars offer unparalleled ease of use, while delivering crisp, clear views of the night sky at affordable prices. Unlike telescopes that have to be set up very precisely to be able to track objects, a pair of binoculars is simply pointed in the direction you want to observe, focused with one simple adjustment, and provided the instrument is held steady, it will produce views that are comparable to, and sometimes superior to, a small telescope.

Nevertheless, binoculars suffer from one major drawback. Unless you are using a giant pair of pier-mounted binoculars, their relatively small objective lenses do not gather sufficient light to view dim objects. Note that the distance of an object is not always related to its brightness, so even relatively close objects that have a low surface brightness might be a better target for a telescope, simply because a telescope gathers more light. Fortunately, though, binoculars offer an affordable way to discover the many binocular targets that are visible from the UK. An interactive sky map to find seasonal binocular targets is available online.

However, price alone should never be the sole deciding factor, especially if you are new to the hobby of stargazing. There are many technical aspects to consider to prevent you buying the wrong instrument, so in this guide we will briefly describe some of the most important things to look out for when shopping for a pair of binoculars for stargazing purposes. This guide will also briefly describe three high quality astronomy binoculars that are suitable for astronomical observing.

Get the basics right

Like all binoculars, instruments designed for stargazing are described by two figures, for instance, 10×50, 12×70, or some other combination. In all cases, the first figure denotes the magnification the instrument delivers, while the second denotes the diameter of the objective lenses. Thus, a 10×50 instrument gathers light through two 50mm-diameter lenses, and magnifies the object being viewed ten times.

These are important figures, because two 50mm lenses gather significantly more light than any 50mm aperture telescope, which means that the view through a 10×50 pair of binoculars is often superior to a view of the same object through a similar sized telescope. As with any optical aid, the more light the instrument gathers the better the views get, which in practice, means that a 10×50 instrument is better suited to observing bright objects such as the moon and planets, as opposed to nebulae and other deep sky objects such as galaxies that have low a surface brightness.

Thus, the secret to buying the right instrument is to be sure about what you want to observe; knowing this will make it easier to strike the right balance between magnification and lens diameter to achieve clear images.

Get proper eye relief

“Eye relief” refers to the distance behind the ocular (small) lenses of the instrument at which the image comes into focus. This value, expressed in millimetres, is an important consideration because an observer that wears eyeglasses might not be able to bring his eyes to within the specified distance. This means that such an observer will be unable to see a fully focussed image. The image below shows a typical eye relief problem that wearers of eyeglasses often encounter.

Image credit: Nikon

Image credit: Nikon

The most common eye relief distance is about 15mm, but most high quality binoculars are designed so that wearers of eyeglasses can comfortably use them. However, there are exceptions to this, so if you wear eyeglasses, be sure to test all binoculars you are considering buying while wearing your eyeglasses to be sure you can bring an image into focus.

Magnification is not everything

While it is tempting for beginner observers to go for the highest magnification available, the fact is that excessive magnification can sometimes make it impossible to view a desired object. There are two main problems with magnification: the first involves the fact that the higher the magnification, the smaller the field of view becomes, meaning that at high magnifications, parts of large objects, such as M45 (Pleiades Cluster), may not fit inside the field of view.

The other, more serious problem involves the fact that as magnification rises, so does image instability. In practice, this means that at say 20 × magnification, every small movement of the instrument also causes a 20-× magnification of that movement, which results in images that are so “shaky” that all detail is lost to the viewer. The obvious solution is to use a sturdy tripod to steady the instrument, but the downside of this is that a descent tripod can be more expensive than the binoculars.

Thus, observers on a tight budget are better served with smaller and lighter binoculars that can be held steady by hand, while still delivering a great view.

Consider the field of view

“Field of view” in this context simply means the total area of the sky that is visible through the instrument. Bear in mind that unlike telescopes, with which the field of view can be changed simply by switching eyepieces, the field of view delivered by a pair of binoculars is fixed. Therefore, if you mostly want to use your binoculars to observe the vast star fields in the Milky Way, or perhaps the surface of the Moon, a powerful, high-magnification instrument might show you more detail, but it will do so over smaller area than a lower magnification instrument will.

While astronomical binoculars are designed to deliver useful magnification as well as reasonable fields of view, the fact is that this ratio is fixed, meaning that above all, the intended use of the instrument should be the deciding factor that determines your choice of binoculars.

Our choice of top quality astronomical binoculars

Although the average observer is spoilt for choice when it comes to the bewildering number of makes, models, and prices of astronomical binoculars, the three instruments described below are widely regarded as being among the best in their respective classes. Note that all three instruments listed here are suitable for use by observers who have to wear eyeglasses.

Olympus 10X50 DPS I Binoculars

Price: £115

Image credit: Olympus

Image credit: Olympus

While some purists might argue that 10×50 binoculars are too small for serious astronomical observing, the mid-level multi-coated lenses on Olympus 10×50 DPS binoculars are of a high enough quality to deliver crisp images that are essentially free of chromatic aberration (false colour), and distortion around the edges of the images that is a common problem on low quality optics.

Moreover, this instrument delivers a whopping 6.5-degree field of view, which is augmented by a painless focussing adjustment to produce stunning views. Additionally, its lightweight construction means that it can be used without a tripod for extended observing sessions through folding eye caps that makes this the ideal choice for observers who have to wear eyeglasses. Note that the indicated price should be treated as a guide only.

Celestron SkyMaster 25×70 Binoculars

Price: £175

Image credit: Celestron

Image credit: Celestron

The Celestron SkyMaster 25×70 is and affordable 25-× magnification instrument aimed at serious observers that routinely observe relatively dim objects. The 70mm objective lenses gather sufficient light to bring objects into view that a smaller instrument cannot; however, its 3.3-pound weight make them unsuitable for prolonged use without a tripod.

The instrument comes with a tripod adapter that fits almost all standard camera tripods, and it is strongly recommended that this instrument be mounted on a sturdy tripod for best results. This instrument is also suitable for long distance daytime viewing, when it high magnification can be very handy to spot elusive birds or other game species. Note that the indicated price is a guide only.

Celestron SkyMaster 25×100 Binoculars

Price: £499

Image credit: Celestron

Image credit: Celestron

The Celestron SkyMaster 25×100 binoculars is widely regarded as one of the best astronomical binoculars ever made. Nonetheless, this instrument is not suitable for use without a tripod, which should be rated as “heavy duty” to carry the 10-pound weight of this instrument without imparting vibrations to the instrument.

The views through this instrument are comparable to a 5-, to 6-inch telescope, but with the added advantage that it takes up only a fraction of the space taken up by a telescope, meaning that the observer gets near-telescopic views from an instrument that fits comfortably inside the average overnight bag. Note that the indicated price is a guide only.

Phase 1 Habitat Surveys: Practical Processes & Application

Environmentally mapping proposed development sites

Landscape architecture revolves around various aspects, because the design of outdoor areas differs a great deal depending on the type of area, the trees and other habitats in that area, and the reason why a certain development or project has been proposed for that area. Carrying out detailed evaluations of the areas in question is of the essence, as several things need to be taken into consideration. The authorities will also require certain reports before approving of a project proposal.

One of the most common requirements is the phase 1 habitat survey. Basically a phase 1 habitat survey calls for the mapping of an area that is being considered for a certain development. Phase 1 habitat surveys are indispensable as a foundation to inform those concerned with the decision making process of the current state of the area, any habitats present there, as well as the stepping stone for further surveys that may be deemed necessary. Phase 1 habitat surveys are often critical to assist in the impact assessment of certain projects or developments. The landscape structure is studied, and above all any vegetation that is present in the area will be noted. Landscape architects make use of certain standardised definitions as well as map colour schemes in order to make sure that everything is standardised and properly classified, so that in case the report needs to be used at a national level for future use or for comparisons, there will not be any problems with lack of clarity or non-procedural aspects. Most clients do not consider the fact that even hedges and ditches could potentially be considered as important habitats. However, a landscape architect will explain all this once the phase 1 habitat survey is completed, and also try to make things a bit simpler for clients who do not understand the jargon and the legal aspects of such issues.

Phase 1 Habitat Survey Mapping. Image credit: Applied Ecology

Phase 1 Habitat Survey Mapping. Image credit: Applied Ecology

For those who have never seen phase 1 habitat surveys and what they look like, suffice it to say that it is basically just like a colourful map of the area. There will also be a number of target notes, so as to provide additional information on certain points of interest or any habitats that are too small to map out. Phase 1 habitat surveys are very useful and sometimes extended phase 1 habitat surveys are considered necessary if more detailed information is required about the site. This is often the case with large developments. An extended phase 1 habitat survey would also include additional information such as botanical species, and, appraisals of areas that could be habitats for legally protected species. However the first step is to carry out a phase 1 habitat survey, which is to an extent a kind of site assessment, to put it simply. Once the types of habitats present are determined by this first survey, there will then be a better idea as to whether it would be better to carry out more extended surveys, which will target specific aspects.

Kent Bat: Image credit: Kent Bat Group

Kent Bat. Image credit: Kent Bat Group

In Kent and in UK in general, there are a number of common protected species that are often found in lowland habitats, such as bats, otters, badgers, water voles, certain reptiles and breeding birds. Protected species are often the second phase of ecological site assessments, and this is technically referred to as a phase 2 survey, where there will be a lot of emphasis placed on the vegetation. However in the case of lowland developments this type of vegetation survey is often not necessary.

Phase 1 habitat surveys are best conducted between April and October, for the simple reason that during this period most deciduous as well as annual species of plants are more identifiable. Phase 1 habitat surveys take a landscape approach. Flora and fauna can be studied in areas that are more rural and it is a fascinating experience considering that often the landscape architect will need to go in deep ditches, dense hedges and other areas which may not be that easily accessible. However this is part of the beauty of carrying out phase 1 habitat surveys. Should you need such a survey, make sure you hire a professional and experienced specialist to take care of this for you, so as to put your mind to rest that it will be handled with utmost care and professionalism.

Choosing an Interior Designer for your London Home or Business

Finding your perfect creative partner

Have you ever heard about the importance of the role of a professionally certified interior designer?

If you want to redecorate your home and bring life to your interior, this is the exact person you need to help you.

Many people put off projects like this as they feel it will costs too much, cause huge levels of stress and just be a general inconvenience.

In fact, many people would rather call the removal men and just pack up and ship out – but wait!

An interior designer is able to transform your home – and the end result is a balanced, harmonious and enjoyable place to live or work in.

Now, there are many interior designers that specialize in interior redecorating, but there are also other types including interior arrangers, interior stylists, one-day decorators, visual coordinators or interior refiners.

Therefore, choosing the best interior designer can be a daunting experience.

However, we can help you make the right choice with our step-by-step process listed below. So, let’s start.

Step 1: Choosing a Certified Interior Designer

A certified interior designer is a professional who is qualified to design, prepare and submit any type of nonstructural and non seismic interior construction plan.

In case you thought that interior designers are just a bunch of creative people following the recent trends in design, that is definitely not true – although people like that sadly do exist.

A certified interior designer can not only help you choose the best styles for your home.

Moreover, such professionals will make sure that everything works together well aside from the visual impression.

This is a skill that only certified interior designers have, and is best demonstrated through their education, experience and knowledge of the Uniform Building Code.

Space planning, life safety, flammability and disabled access code issues are only some of the many standards that your interior must adhere to.

Step 2: Setting a Budget for the Interior Design Project

If you are wondering how does pricing work when it comes to interior design, you are not the only one.

Basically, interior designers can set the pricing on their own terms.

However, it is important that you come to a meeting point in terms of pricing.

The most common pricing options you can choose from include:

  • Flat Design Fee: Here, the client pays a flat fee for the professional interior designer’s services based on the time required, the design plan and the scope of their services.
  • Hourly Rate: Some interior designers can be hired on an hourly rate, where the interior decorator bills the negotiated rate per hour.
  • Cost Plus Method: Some of the professional interior designers charge a set percentage on all the merchandise you purchase and the tradesmen services your home requires.
  • Per Square Meter: There are also some interior decorators that charge per square meter, although this method is used especially in new construction.
  • Mixed Method: The mixed method is also a common one where the client pays a set percentage on the purchases and a base design fee for the hourly rate of the designer.

The bottom line of these models is to find one that works for you and always agree on it prior to the project.

Step 3: What To Ask Your Interior Designer?

At the first meeting, you should make sure to ask the following questions and be informed about these things:

  • The interior designer’s portfolio and previous works
  • The projects they worked on and their size
  • The budget range for every project similar to yours
  • How the established budget will be handled and what’s the best payment schedule method
  • Permits to identify and deal with hazardous materials such as asbestos removal
  • The types of services the designer can provide
  • Do they have contacts with all necessary contractors
  • A list of references


Following this guideline will definitely help you find reliable interior design contractors in London.

However, you should also make sure to define some things on your own, including your budget, the activities that will take place in the space, the length of time you will occupy it as well as your vision of the entire project including your preferred colors, styles and accessories.

Finding the perfect Kent SEO Company as your marketing partner

Make your selection process simple, quick and effective

As more and more businesses go online, the demand for high organic search rankings increases hugely. Competing companies in related industry sectors grow, the market shrinks and the desire to become the most prominent company on local and national searches becomes all the more important. The world’s gone totally online and in this age of data, occupying the right digital space means the difference between profit and loss.

Small businesses are quickly discovering that local search prominence is just as important, if not greater than being known nationally. The age of the printed yellow pages directory is long gone and with mobile devices being continuously connected and sharing information online, you need to find ways to get ahead of the pack in your immediate town or city. Local SEO represents the answer to this current challenge.

So how do you go about ensuring your business is prominent in all forms of local searches and directories?

Your best decision could be to speak to a local search engine optimisation expert in your city. In the UK, the home counties outside of the central London areas are displaying the fastest rate of growth so businesses in counties such as Kent are getting back on their feet after the economic woes of 2007-2008.

It’s fair to say that there is a huge amount of choice when looking for a SEO supplier but the truth remains today that a large bulk of these suppliers are not providing a quality of service that will have longer term benefits. Unfortunately, the search engine optimisation industry has been mired with a reputation for offering poor quality work, a “hit and run” mentality and a generally poor live of customer service. Finding a supplier that isn’t going to take your money and waste it is a tough ask. But there are some extremely talented SEO’s out there who do know what they’re doing and do know how to get results.

If you need to get found on Google’s local results, the best key points to consider have to be:

1) Stay Local – forget overseas suppliers, no matter how tempting their extremely cheap offerings may appear. In the SEO world, the phrase “you get what you pay for” could never be truer so stick to a company or freelancer that is based close by so you can conduct regular get togethers and stay in touch to ensure transparency and clarity in the work they are carrying out.

2) Reviews – spend a couple of hours checking into the online reputations of any local SEO you are considering. Don’t expect glowing reviews across the board as for every handful of happy clients, there’s always one or two that is never satisfied. But, if their overall profile seems to be on the positive side, they could be a potential suitor.

3) Ranking – any SEO who knows what they’re doing should rank pretty darn well themselves right? So if a local SEO firm is not ranking well on Google, chances are they’ll struggle to do the same for you. So in this case, you can judge a book by its cover!

4) Expectations – don’t expect miracles the second you shake hands. SEO whether local or national does take time. There’s no magic overnight formula to getting position 1 on page 1 of Google, otherwise we’d all be doing it, right? So make sure you discuss realistic timeframes when your chosen SEO believes you will start to see results and get a return on your investment.

5) Trust – the most vital ingredient when hiring an SEO is to have a complete and full understanding. Good SEO’s usually require access to a lot of your digital infrastructure such as website source code, social media, webmaster tools and analytics accounts. Without these, they will be extremely hampered in their abilities to do the job to its fullest and most effective. So if you have any issues allowing this type of access to your accounts, you need to consider if SEO offers the right path for you. But if you do allow that kind of access, the results will be well worth it!

So good luck with your searches. If you do find a good local SEO, it could be the best investment you made in your business for years and once the results start to show, you can look forward to seeing the competition as a distant object in your rear view mirror.

Kent SEO Company