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BTO Breeding Bird Survey: new volunteers needed

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.

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 2018, 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 2018 breeding season (updated 5/3/2018) are:

SU7802 Cobnor Point
SU8027 near Rake*
SU8029 near Liss Forest*
SU8624 Tote Hill near Midhurst
SU9017 Heyshott*
SU9216 Graffham Down*
SU9618 Coultershaw Bridge* (Waterways BBS: River Rother)
SZ7996 East Wittering*
TQ0124 near Kirdford*
TQ0205 near Lyminster*
TQ0502 Rustington
TQ0819 West Chiltington*
TQ1114 Washington Common
TQ1531 Broadbridge Heath
TQ1829 south Horsham*
TQ2836 central Crawley
TQ3304 Brighton Whitehawk
TQ3916 near South Chailey*
TQ4136 Ashurst Wood*
TQ4800 Seaford*
TQ4933 Friar’s Gate
TQ5211 near Golden Cross*
TQ5231 Crowborough*
TQ5738 Tunbridge Wells*
TQ6419 Earl’s Down*
TQ6521 Dallington Forest*
TQ6727 near Stonegate*
TQ7028 near Hurst Green
TQ8013 Baldslow (Hastings)*
TQ8413 near Three Oaks
TQ8518 Udimore*
TQ8613 Guestling Green
TQ8722 Peasmarsh*

For further information, please contact Helen Crabtree, 01444 441687, hcrabtree@gmail.com.