RSPB/BTO Breeding Waders of Wet Meadows Survey 2021: early results

This breeding season many dedicated volunteers have been out surveying river valleys and levels areas in Sussex for the Breeding Waders of Wet Meadows 2021 survey which is being jointly run by the BTO and the RSPB. The primary aim of this survey is to assess breeding populations of lapwings and redshank in wet meadow habitats, comparing these with the results from the previous similar survey in 2002.

Listed below are the areas that have been surveyed with the estimated numbers of breeding pairs of waders. This list does not include RSPB sites.

East Head: 10 avocet pairs
Arun valley (North Stoke to Houghton): no breeding waders
Arun valley (Offham to South Stoke): 6 lapwing pairs
Arun valley (Offham): results not yet returned
Arundel WWT: 5 lapwing pairs and one oystercatcher pair
Adur Levels: 7 lapwing pairs
Glynde Levels: 2 lapwing pairs
Lower Ouse valley: 4 lapwing pairs
Cuckmere valley (above Exceat): no breeding waders
Cuckmere valley (below Exceat): results not yet returned
Down Level: 7 lapwing pairs
Hankham Level: 2 lapwing pairs
Hooe Level (east): 3 lapwing pairs
Hooe Level (west): no breeding waders
Horse Eye Level: 2 lapwing pairs
Manxey Level: no breeding waders
Pevensey Bridge Level: 6 lapwing pairs
Wallers Haven (south): results not yet returned
Wallers Haven (north): one lapwing pair
Whelpley Level (east): no breeding waders
Whelpley Level (west): 2 lapwing pairs
Combe Valley: 3 lapwing pairs
Brede Levels: 18 lapwing pairs
Wet Level Wittersham: no breeding waders
Pannel valley: 23 lapwing pairs, 4 redshank pairs and 6 oystercatcher pairs
Pett Level: no breeding waders
Rye Harbour: 8 lapwing pairs, 9 redshank pairs, 42 oystercatcher pairs and 40 avocet pairs

Many thanks are due to all the volunteers that have surveyed these sites and also to those volunteers that have surveyed lapwing plots and newly-created wet meadow sites on farmland across the county.

Further information about breeding waders at any of the sites listed above or at any other site in Sussex will be valuable for ensuring that this survey is complete; please contact Helen Crabtree at