Survey – South Downs Farmland Birds

South Downs farmland bird monitoring


An exciting new monitoring project started in 2014 as part the South Downs Farmland Bird Initiative. The project is a collaboration between the RSPB, Natural England, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA), the BTO, the South Downs Land Management Group and the Sussex and Hampshire Ornithological Societies. The project combines data from the BTO Breeding Bird Survey with additional data from randomly-distributed squares within the South Downs national park that are surveyed annually. The South Downs Farmland Bird Initiative is a wider project which involves working with farmers and landowners to provide the ‘Big 3’ for farmland birds: safe nesting areas, summer feeding areas and winter feeding areas. Focusing on lapwing, grey partridge and corn bunting, the habitat created also benefits other bird species such as skylark, linnet and yellowhammer, as well as other farmland wildlife including brown hares, rare arable plants and bumblebees. The monitoring project will hopefully help to measure the effectiveness of this work across the South Downs national park.

The available squares to be surveyed in Sussex are listed below (updated 12/8/2022), and the survey instructions are available here. If you are interested in taking on one of these squares for this project, or if you would like further information, please contact Helen Crabtree at

SU7721 Goose Green
SU8023 Rogate
SU8221 near Trotton
SU8323 near Chithurst
SU8426 Milland
SU8518 Bepton
SU8723 Woolbeding
SU9008 Halnaker
SU9013 East Dean
SU9023 near Easebourne
SU9126 near Lickfold
SU9308 near Eartham
TQ0215 Amberley Wildbrooks
TQ0907 near Clapham
TQ2511 Fulking

The available squares to be surveyed in Hampshire are:

SU4922 near Colden Common
SU4925 near Twyford
SU5024 near Owslebury
SU5419 near Upham
SU5730 Tichborne
SU6029 Cheriton Wood
SU6225 Brockwood Copse
SU6228 near Bramdean
SU6422 near West Meon
SU6529 West Tisted
SU6617 near Chidden
SU6627 Filmore Hill
SU6820 near East Meon
SU6828 Basing Park
SU7311 Rowlands Castle