List of YWT Nature Reserves (A-Z)


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Family Fun - latest news and events
Learning - for teachers and community group leaders


Breeding Bird Survey

About the survey

The breeding bird survey has been running since 2006, employing a technique based on a modified version of the BTO’s Common Bird Census (CBC); a comprehensive and thorough sampling of birds observed by sight and sound on Yorkshire Wildlife Trust managed nature reserves.

With the survey season running from April to July each year it is intended to coincide with the breeding season of most species, both resident and summer migrants. At this time of the year territorial structures establish, outwardly behaviour intensifies, and the birds are most conspicuous.

The purpose of this ongoing and long term monitoring is to develop a clearer picture of how bird communities are faring on our sites. Initially this will prompt us on which species actually breed on, visit, or migrate through, but will also ultimately allow us to decipher population sizes and trends over time.

It’s not all about the birds though, as they can often be used as fantastic indicator species to infer on the state of other ecologically important factors, such as the water quality of our lakes and rivers, the species diversity and richness of our wildflower meadows, and trends in invertebrate species.

The information gathered is imperative to our action plans aiming to promote and preserve the ecological success of birds, and beyond, in Yorkshire.


Credit Zsusanna Bird

Report 2015

News and Events

Credit Jon Hawkins

Getting Involved

It is excellent news that the scope of the survey has been expanding year on year since its establishment, encompassing more of our reserves than ever before! It is no less due to the inspiring effort made by our volunteers, their enthusiasm and effort in producing the invaluable data is what’s responsible for driving our understanding forward and shaping our conservation strategies.

There is continued room to grow however with around half of our reserves not currently regularly covered. As a result we’d like to encourage involvement from new volunteers. An adept knowledge of bird identification through sight and sound is necessary, but with participation in featured events run by the trust and the added motivation from being involved assisting your learning curve, don’t doubt your own skills and abilities!

Contact Us

More information and useful resources can be found on this page, otherwise if you’d like to express your interest, or ask any questions, please feel welcome to contact Phillip Whelpdale.