RSPB/BTO Breeding Waders of Wet Meadows Survey 2021

This survey was planned for 2020 but cancelled due to government restrictions. The intention now is for this survey to run in 2021 dependent on restrictions. Planning and preparation are going ahead as normal. All volunteers for this survey will be expected to observe all government restrictions and guidelines.

In 2021 the BTO and RSPB will be jointly running a national survey of breeding waders in wet meadows. This will be a repeat of the 2002 survey, requiring visits to the sites surveyed in 2002 and with the inclusion of any new wet grassland sites that have been identified. In addition, a sample of farmland sites with specific agri-environment scheme options in place (wet grassland management and lapwing plots) will also be surveyed. This survey will primarily be organised in Sussex by Helen Crabtree (BTO Regional Representative for Sussex); surveys of RSPB sites will be organised by RSPB staff.

In Sussex the wet grassland sites to be surveyed for which volunteers are still being sought (updated 7/4/2021) are as follows:

Pagham Rife
River Ouse Lewes to Hamsey
River Ouse Barcombe to Isfield
Pevensey (Manxey Level South)
Pevensey (Manxey Level North)
Brede Levels (multiple sites)
Tillingham Valley (Rye)

All available sites can be viewed on the map at

The survey will require three visits between the middle of April and the end of June to map the locations of displaying or breeding waders. Simple habitat and land management measures will also be recorded during the fieldwork. Surveyors will need to be able to identify common wader species (lapwings, redshank, snipe and oystercatcher) by sight and sound, and also to be familiar with display and territorial behaviour. Please contact Helen Crabtree at if you would like to volunteer to survey one of the sites listed above or would like more information.