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Sussex farms: surveyors needed

The RSPB’s South Downs Farmland Bird Monitoring project is not being continued next year, but the SOS has agreed to try to find volunteer surveyors if the farmers involved would like to see surveys continue in order to maintain an understanding of how farming practices are affecting their breeding birds. This is an excellent opportunity to get to know and help local farmers as well as improve our knowledge of the status of farmland birds in Sussex.

There is one request already, from the owners of Saddlescombe Farm above Poynings at approximately TQ2711. If you would like to survey this farm, or just find out more about what is involved, please contact Mark Mallalieu at

We do not know how many other farmers will come forward, but if you would like to register your interest in carrying out such surveys elsewhere, or if you were already a volunteer on this project and wish to continue, please also contact Mark.

The survey methodology can be simpler than that used by the project and can be agreed between surveyors and farmers, though the SOS will provide advice and the methodology used by the RSPB is a very useful reference. Farmers will probably wish to know the locations of certain breeding species, especially those that were the target of the RSPB project (Corn Bunting, Skylark, Lapwing, Tree Sparrow, Linnet, Turtle Dove, Grey Partridge, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting and Yellow Wagtail).

Please note that the South Downs Farmland Bird Initiative is different (see