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BTO Breeding Bird Survey: new squares available

Now is the ideal time to sign up to take part in the BTO Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and to come along to an informal practice session along with other volunteers. Sussex has also just been allocated some new BBS squares.

This national monitoring scheme is administered by the BTO and jointly funded by the BTO, JNCC and RSPB. It has been running since 1994 and its primary aim is to provide population trends for common and widespread bird species in the UK. Population trends for Sussex are also produced and published in the Sussex Bird Report.

Survey plots are randomly-selected 1-km squares of the National Grid, and the same squares are surveyed each year. Volunteers visit their squares three times each year during the breeding season, once to record simple habitat data, and twice to walk a fixed route, recording birds seen and heard. There are more than 150 BBS squares across Sussex, covering every type of habitat, and new volunteers are always needed.

Volunteers must be able to recognise common and widespread birds, but previous experience of survey work is not necessary. Help and support from experienced volunteers can be arranged if required, and some informal group practice sessions are planned for late March and early April 2017, to which new volunteers will be invited.

The BBS squares (asterisks indicate priority squares that have been surveyed before) in Sussex which currently need volunteers for the 2017 breeding season (updated 4/4/2017) are:

SU7802 Cobnor Point
SU8027 near Rake*
SU8029 near Liss Forest*
SU8624 Tote Hill near Midhurst
SU8926 Henley Common
SU9017 Heyshott*
SU9127 near Fernhurst*
SU9225 near Lickfold
SZ7996 East Wittering*
SZ8698 near Sidlesham*
TQ0124 near Kirdford*
TQ0502 Rustington
TQ2022 Cowfold*
TQ2828 near Staplefield*
TQ2836 central Crawley
TQ2916 Hurstpierpoint*
TQ3122 near Haywards Heath*
TQ4817 near Isfield*
TQ5211 near Golden Cross*
TQ5502 near Jevington*
TQ5514 near Chiddingly
TQ5707 Abbot's Wood
TQ5901 Willingdon
TQ6727 near Stonegate*
TQ6927 nr Etchingham*
TQ7028 near Hurst Green
TQ8413 near Three Oaks
TQ8613 Guestling Green

For further information, please contact Helen Crabtree, 01444 441687, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The following squares are available just over the Surrey border:

TQ0232 Oxoncroft Copse
TQ0539 Cranleigh
TQ0735 Massers Wood near Cranleigh
TQ0837 near Cranleigh
TQ0937 The Windbreak near Ewhurst
TQ3647 near Godstone


To volunteer to survey one of these squares, please contact Penny Williams at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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