Send us your sightings

As well as the more formal Reserves Surveying Programme, we are also always keen to receive any ad hoc wildlife records you may collect from our reserves.

The easiest way to let us know about a sighting is to fill out our online form. To enter multiple records you can download our excel and CSV spreadsheets.

BBOWT's Reserves Surveying Programme - surveying and monitoring habitats and species on our nature reserves

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Chalkhill Blue by Colin WilliamsChalkhill Blue by Colin Williams

To effectively manage our nature reserves to their full potential we need to assess the condition of the habitats present on site and have a record of all the species present and how their populations are changing over time

A rigorous programme of surveying and monitoring was launched in 2002 to standardise BBOWT's monitoring and surveying approach and collect quantitative data using repeatable methodologies.

The Reserve Survey Programme aims to:

  • Establish species presence/absence, species population trends and assess the condition of habitats
  • Direct the management of reserves by reviewing the success of previous habitat management work and help plan for future management strategies
  • Direct future surveying and monitoring programmes
  • Inspire, train and involve volunteers

Download information about the Reserves Surveying Programme.

At the beginning of each year the Biodiversity Team plans over 150 surveying projects for the forthcoming spring and summer survey season. Much of this survey work is carried out by a fantastic army of experienced and enthusiastic volunteer surveyors. The surveyors are experts in identification of at least one species group.

Download information about being a Volunteer Wildlife Surveyor.

How to become a BBOWT Volunteer Wildlife Surveyor

The Biodiversity Team is always on the lookout for new wildlife surveyors. If you are able to confidently identify one or more species groups (e.g. butterflies, dragonflies, birds or plants) and would like to help with the Reserves Surveying Programme, please contact Colin Williams, Reserves Ecology Officer, on 01865 775476 or for more information.

Please note the survey allocation period for each year’s survey season is in March and April. By the end of April all of the planned survey work has been allocated and surveyors have begun their survey work. If you miss this deadline, please still get in touch as we can add you to the surveyor list for the following year.

If you are keen to get involved with surveying but don’t think your identification skills are quite good enough yet why not consider attending one of BBOWT’s Developing Your Skills Courses. There may also be opportunities for you to accompany a BBOWT volunteer surveyor during their survey work.

2017 Wildlife news from our reserves...

  • Already this winter a couple of bitterns and two, possibly three, bearded tits have been seen from the hide at Calvert Jubilee. Channels have been cut in the reedbed to increase the chance of spotting the bittern as it moves through the reedbed. Gritting trays have also been provided for the bearded tits as this may well prolong their stay. Photographers have managed to capture some great images of both species but you need to be patient!
  • Field margins at Chimney Meadows were searched for the presence of harvest mice nests. Over three days in November BBOWT staff and volunteers found 41 nests. There were young in the very first nest found! The nest searches were part of an ongoing project led by the Oxfordshire Mammal Group studying the ecology of harvest mice.
  • Autumn witnessed an unprecedented influx of hawfinches in the UK. They are thought to be of continental origin and are on the move as one of their main food supplies, beech mast, has failed in their home territories. Several birds have been seen on BBOWT reserves including a fine male perched in an oak tree at Rushbeds Wood in early November. Many of these birds will now winter in the UK so keep a look out for them, particularly in and around hornbeam trees.


A-Z of Wildlife

Photo of Orange-tip

Name: Orange-tip

Scientific name: Anthocharis cardamines

Category: Butterflies and moths

View full A-Z

Species sightings - Bucks

Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Environmental Records Centre

BBOWT only records species found on our nature reserves. For all other sightings in Buckinghamshire, please contact Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Environmental Records Centre.

Species sightings - Berks & Oxon

Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre

BBOWT only records species found on our nature reserves. For all other sightings in Oxfordshire and Berkshire, please contact Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre.