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Seabirds Count: Urban Nesting Gull Surveys

Seabirds Count: Britain and Ireland’s 4th Breeding Seabird Census

Since 1969 there have been periodic censuses of breeding seabirds in Britain and Ireland. The last census was completed in 2002; due to the time that has passed, it is important another survey takes place. Seabirds Count was developed by the Seabird Monitoring Programme (SMP) partnership and is being coordinated by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). Its goal is to gather vital data on the breeding numbers of seabirds, with the aim of understanding how distributions and populations have changed. Survey work started in 2015 and aims to be completed by the end of the 2020 breeding season.

As part of the Seabirds Count census, volunteers across the whole of the UK will be participating in surveys of urban nesting gulls during late April to mid-May, in 2020. These urban surveys will play a vital role in understanding how the UK population of both Herring and Lesser Black-backed gulls are faring. Herring gull numbers in natural breeding sites such as cliffs, rocky coasts and moorland declined by a third between 1986 and 2015. By conducting surveys of urban nesting gulls, we can understand whether these declines at natural sites are a product of these birds moving into urban areas, or if the declines are more widespread.

Volunteers are needed to survey a 1km square – a list of the squares available is attached below. The method simply involves visiting the site once and counting nests/gulls that can be seen from the ground.

If you would like to help with the urban nesting gull survey in Sussex, please contact Alison Giacomelli with your name and the area that you would be willing to survey. Many thanks.

Alison Giacomelli
Seabirds Count Sussex Coordinator



West Sussex

GR Site name Grid Ref Site Name
SU8430 Liphook TQ2919 Burgess Hill
TQ2918 SW Burgess Hill TQ3538 N of Crawley Down
TQ3633 West Hoathly TQ2529 Handcross
TQ2916 Hurst Wickham SU7900 West Itchenor
TQ3115 Keymer TQ2938 Three Bridges
TQ1528 Christ’s Hospital TQ3632 West Hoathly
TQ2434 Bewbush TQ1911 Upper Beeding
TQ0018 Lower Fittleworth SU8722 Woolbeding
TQ4039 Stone Quarry, East Grinstead SU8720 SW of Midhurst
TQ0213 Amberley TQ3336 NW of Turners Hill
TQ2737 Northgate, Crawley TQ1115 Heath Common
TQ2029 N of Mannings Heath SZ8998 Pagham
TQ0127 Pound Common, N of Kirdford TQ0118 Fittleworth
SZ8898 N of Pagham SU9821 Petworth
TQ4236 Ashurst Wood TQ3325 Haywards Heath (N of train station)
TQ1403 Worthing Central TQ2407 Mile Oak – Portslade
SU8100 Westlands, N of Birdham TQ1431 Broadbridge Heath
TQ1130 S of Slinfold TQ0331 Loxwood
SU8005 Broadbridge TQ1102 Goring by Sea
SU9406 Fontwell SU8928 Fernhurst
TQ3019 Burgess Hill TQ3039 Copthorne
TQ0520 Codmore Hill TQ3539 Furnace Wood
TQ1626 Southwater SU9501 N of Felpham
TQ1533 Warnham SU8821 Midhurst
TQ3036 Worth, Three Bridges TQ0525 Wisborough Green
TQ0126 Kirdford TQ1919 Partridge Green
TQ3041 Fernhill, near Horley


East Sussex

GR Site Name Grid Ref Site Name
TQ7307 Bexhill TQ7515 Battle
TQ6302 Langney, Eastbourne TQ6624 Burwash
TQ4434 Little Parrock, E of Forest Row TQ4115 Barcombe Cross
TQ8115 Westfield TQ3902 Saltdean
TQ7219 Crowhurst Wood TQ7612 Crowhurst
TQ8015 W of Westfield TQ2707 Hangleton
TQ9418 Rye Harbour TQ4021 Newick
TQ9220 Rye TQ9119 Rye – New Winchelsea Rd
TQ8016 NW of Westfield TQ4020 SW of Newick
TQ7711 W of Hollington, Hastings TQ4411 Ringmer
TQ7417 N of Battle TQ5705 Polegate – W
TQ6100 Eastbourne TQ7908 St Leonards
TQ3917 South Chailey TQ8616 Icklesham
TQ3909 W of Lewes TQ5826 Mayfield
TQ5819 N of Maynards Green TQ8013 Hastings – Baldslow
TQ8413 W of Guestling Green TQ5802 Willingdon
TQ5820 Heathfield TQ8224 Northiam
TQ8711 Fairlight Cove TQ4001 Telscombe Cliffs
TQ8118 Cackle Street TQ9221 Rye – North
TQ4235 Forest Row TQ3703 Rottingdean
TQ4723 Coopers Green TQ7817 Sedlescombe
TQ5324 Hadlow Down TQ5716 Coxlow, S of Horam
TQ5020 Framfield TQ7718 Sedlescombe
TQ5220 Blackboys TQ7913 N Hastings
TQ4206 Rodmell TQ8112 Hastings – St Helens Wood
TQ5805 Polegate TQ5711 Lower Horsebridge
TQ9619 Camber Sands TQ4134 West of Forest Row
TQ5726 Mayfield
TQ7309 Bexhill