Tracking the Impact – the results are in!

Tracking the Impact – the results are in!

Our award-winning wildlife monitoring programme, Tracking the Impact, has published the results of its surveys from 2023. It was an incredible year in which 8,104 records were collected!

Our Tracking the Impact volunteers collected data across the Central Chilterns and River Chess Catchment for birds, butterflies and plants. All of the records for the survey squares they have monitored have been entered onto our online interactive maps, so you can see for yourself what species have been recorded and where.

Take a look at our maps for:

Tracking the Impact is a landscape-scale wildlife surveying programme that is part of the Chalk, Cherries and Chairs (CCC) Landscape Partnership, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Since the project started in 2020, our team of more than 200 volunteers has helped reach 100% of our 72 survey squares and 73% of coverage of all surveys; we have amassed over 20,000 records! This is an incredible achievement in a short space of time.

 

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Long-term trend-watching

The data collected by Tracking the Impact is vital for developing a long-term picture of what is happening to wildlife in the Chilterns. The project is building a baseline that will ultimately help us to review the impact of nature recovery work. Our data also supports the analysis of trends across the whole country as we feed to into national monitoring programmes, including the Breeding Bird Survey, Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey, and National Plant Monitoring Scheme.

It will take several years of surveying to get a dataset that can show long-term trends with confidence. But, in the short term, we have created maps of the key species, where they have been recorded, and how many have been recorded to help build a baseline. Data will be added to this analysis each year, and, in time, we hope to spot patterns and identify trends.

While its too early to spot any reliable long-term trends, we are starting to build a picture of the distribution and relative abundance of some of our key Chiltern species as this map for yellowhammer shows.

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Tracking the impact needs you!

Recruitment is now open for our 2024 survey season and there are opportunities for everyone to get involved, whether you’re a seasoned surveyor or have never picked up a pair of binoculars! We offer free training and support, and the chance to make a big difference to wildlife. Whether you want to get cracking with recording, or you’re simply interested in finding out more about birds, butterflies or plants, we need you!

Nick Marriner, Landowner Engagement Officer, explains how rewarding surveying is: “As a long-term volunteer surveyor myself, I understand the value of time spent in the field, helping wildlife. But the fun of it for me is when I can just immerse myself in watching our amazing wildlife up close and personal.”

Find out more or Register your interest

Tracking the Impact is part of the Chalk, Cherries and Chairs Landscape Partnership Scheme which is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the HS2 Community & Engagement Fund, and managed by the Chilterns Conservation Board

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Passionate about wildlife? We need your help! Interested in starting a community garden or heritage project? We could help you! Learn more about our volunteering and training opportunities.
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