The Winter Random Sqaure Survery (WRSS) as established in 1975 as a means to record the status of common species which are otherwise overlooked by our monthly recording system.

The WRSS is conducted in the last weekend of November and February, with results combined to produce the survey counts for that winter. Observers are allocated a 1km square at random from each of the 12 100km squares of the BOS survey area. Each observer is asked to record each species seen and estimate the total number of each species over a period of 2-3 hours. In most years we are able to field multiple observers per 100km square, thus increasing coverage.

Squares are not re-surveyed until all surveyable squares have been surveyed. Squares are omitted where there is limited or restricted access. To date we have conducted 2 complete surveys, from 1975-2000 (1120 squares, 93%) and 2000-2016 (658 squares, 55%).

The results from the first 3 years (1976-1978) are averaged to produce an index for each species, one for abundance and one for distribution. From that time onwards, a 3-year rolling index is calculated, which shows the relative abundance and distribution change for each species.

This enables the BOS to analyse species trends over a 40 year period. In general the trends match national findings, but there are significant differences which allows the BOS to better understand species which are fairing better or worse within our survey area. We use this information to adjust the conservation targets on our reserves and when providing guidance to local planning.

The results of the survey can be read in our book Birds of the Heart of England.

HS2

Construction work on HS2 Phase One is due to commence in 2018, with completion scheduled for 2026. HS2 crosses the BOS area from Brackley to Southam via Chipping Warden. Read more ...

Deer, Woodlands and Birds - should we be in a flap?  -   Jamie Cordery

Jamie Cordery is South East Deer Liaison Officer for The Deer Initiative, a broad partnership of statutory, voluntary and private interests dedicated to ensuring the delivery of a sustainable and well-managed wild deer population in England and Wales.

The Long Day Count is carried out by teams of observers in each of the twelve 10km squares recording the number of bird species seen during a maximum of 12 daylight hours on the second Sunday in May each year.   Read more ...

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