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Tracking the Impact

Passionate about wildlife and protecting it? Want to carry out bird, butterfly or plant surveys in new and unexplored areas of the Chilterns? Want to improve your ID and survey skills? 

Then 'Tracking the Impact' could be for you! 

Learn new skills, benefit from a wide range of free online and in-person trainings and improve your knowledge of local birds, plants and butterflies, before taking on your own 1km square to monitor and record during 2021. Your work will be of vital importance, not only to help us understand the state of nature at a local level, but also to feed into a wide range of national initiatives including: Breeding Bird Survey, Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey and National Plant Monitoring Scheme. 

In 2020, due to COVID-19, we ran a number of informative online training sessions, which you can now view on our Youtube channel. These should give you a sense of the wide range of experts and enthusiasts we have feeding into our group of almost 100 volunteers, and the great knowledge sharing opportunities offered by our regular meet-ups and WhatsApp group. 

To access the slides and presentations from these online trainings, please click here.


Corn Bunting, photo credit to Roy McDonald

What do our volunteers say?

Volunteers have said how much they ‘enjoyed exploring new areas of the Chilterns’, ‘learning new survey skills’, ‘playing their part in a wider conservation project’, ‘learning new skills from experts’, ‘being better at identifying birds, butterflies and plants’ and ‘making a difference to their local patch’. So far, our online trainings have been watched over 1400 times in the last year!

Contact the team and sign up

If you are interested in getting involved as a surveyor, want to find out how the project can help you improve your skills or if you would like to help others improve their skills then please contact:

Nick Marriner (Landowner Engagement Officer, Chilterns Conservation Board)


More about the project and our partners

The Chilterns Conservation Board has teamed up with Butterfly Conservation, British Trust for Ornithology, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, BMERC, BBOWT and Plantlife to deliver an exciting new landscape-scale wildlife surveying programme across the Central Chilterns area.

New surveying opportunities will be on offer not only for experienced surveyors but also the next generation through a species ID and survey training package.

Working across 50 1km survey squares, the project will dovetail with existing national recording schemes (Breeding Bird Survey, Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey and National Plant Monitoring Scheme) to bolster coverage in a ground-breaking new partnership.

The project will offer opportunities to explore new sites in the area and the data will be used to track trends across the landscape and inform practical woodland, grassland and farmland habitat management projects.

Tracking the Impact is part of the new Chalk, Cherries and Chairs Landscape Partnership Scheme which is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and managed by the Chilterns Conservation Board. You can learn more about the scheme here.

What do we offer?

If your interest is in birds, butterflies and/or plants we are offering exciting new opportunities to:

·         take on new survey squares and get involved in national recording schemes

·         receive training in species ID and survey techniques

·         offer training and support to new volunteer surveyors

The project will last initially for 4 years and will start in spring 2020. We are looking for volunteers to carry out surveys during the spring and summer and would love to hear from you if you:

·         are an experienced surveyor and are keen to take on a new patch

·         have some species ID experience but would like some training to help you develop

·         are new to surveying and want some training on specific survey methods

By getting involved you will both be making a big difference to your local wildlife in the Chilterns and be contributing to national recording schemes. We will also be offering the chance to meet with other surveyors and to get feedback on the project at regular workshops and events.

Sign up below!  

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