Since 1988, over 22,000 farm woods have been planted in England. The woods are mostly small, between 1 and 5 hectares in size, which will make survey coverage quite quick and straightforward. These farm woods were planted in a wide variety of settings, ranging from complete isolation through to alongside existing established woodland. This provides a very interesting natural experiment to assess how well birds have colonised these new woodlands on farmland.
A new survey for 2019 plans to provide data on how birds have colonised woods planted in farmland.
What is required?
Surveyors need to be able to identify birds by sight and sound, and ideally they will have had experience with other BTO surveys or bird territory mapping.
This survey will cover many of the 46 farm woodland sites previously surveyed in 1999, as well as up to 2000 other farm woods, which haven’t been surveyed at all.
The sites are small, so it should be possible to cover a number of woodland plots on a farm in a morning; each plot should take around 20 to 30 minutes to survey, depending on size!
Four morning visits are required between mid March 2019 and 15 July 2019, to record all birds in and around the farm wood plot. Registrations will be recorded on site maps, using standard BTO species and activity codes, mainly to accurately plot all individuals and help avoid double counting. A summary of the number of territories detected will then be determined from each survey visit.
Some basic, but essential, habitat recording will be required for farm woods, to record the features such as tree species, boundary type and mammal activity.
Please see the Methods page for further survey details.
How to sign-up for the survey
It is now possible to register for the survey. You will be able to view an interactive map of farm woodland locations, summarises by 1-km squares, from which you can select the sites you would like to survey.
Some squares may only have single farm woods, whereas others will have many, so we would encourage you to pick squares with multiple farm woods if possible.
Once a location has been selected, we will then need to contact the landowner to request permission to survey the site, which isn’t guaranteed, and then provide contact and visit details to the surveyor.
Please see the Resources page for details of field methods, recording forms and other useful survey information.
You can contact the survey organisers Daria Dadam and Greg Conway via farmwoodbirds [at] bto.org.