Tracking the Impact

Tracking the Impact

If you are passionate about protecting wildlife, would like to carry out bird, butterfly or plant surveys in unexplored areas of the Chilterns, or want to improve your ID skills, then Tracking the Impact could be for you!

Learn new skills, benefit from a wide range of free training, and improve your knowledge of local birds, plants and butterflies. Join in with surveying and your work will be of vital importance – helping us to understand the state of nature at a local level and feeding into a wide range of national initiatives, including the Breeding Bird Survey, Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey and National Plant Monitoring Scheme.

Take part in 2024

Recruitment for our 2024 surveying season is now open! Register your interest here.

Whether you interest is in birds, butterflies and/or plants, we offer exciting 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

By getting involved in the project, you will make a big difference to local wildlife in the Chilterns and contribute to national recording schemes. You will also get the chance to meet with other surveyors and get feedback on the project at regular workshops and events.

About the Project

Map of Tracking the IMpact area for 2023Tracking the Impact is an exciting landscape-scale wildlife surveying programme running across the Central Chilterns as part of the Chalk, Cherries and Chairs Landscape Partnership scheme, funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund and HS2 Community & Engagement Fund. It offers surveying opportunities and training packages for both experienced surveyors and the next generation. The project dovetails with existing national recording schemes, including the Breeding Bird Survey, Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey and National Plant Monitoring Scheme, bolstering coverage locally and nationally.

In 2023, we teamed up with the River Chess Smarter Water Catchment project to extend our survey area into the Chess catchment, upping our original coverage of 50 1km squares by a fantastic 22 squares. We also worked with the National Trust to bring in 6 more Breeding Bird Survey squares, making a grand total of 78 1km survey squares. The data we gain from our surveys will be used to track trends across the landscape over time and inform practical woodland, grassland and farmland habitat management projects.

Our 2024 season is underway and we are looking at how we can continue the programme once the National Lottery Heritage Funding for Chalk, Cherries and Chairs ends. We are also working with the Joint Nature Conservancy Council (JNCC), BBOWT and the Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Natural Environment Partnership to look at the potential to scale Tracking the Impact up over a wider landscape area.

Results so far

We have seen some incredible results so far – in the first three years of the project, our team of volunteers has helped reach 73% coverage of our project area, and has amassed more than 20,000 records! All of the records for the survey squares have been entered onto our online interactive maps, so you can see for yourself what birds, butterfly and plants have been recorded and where.

Online training for citizen scientists

We provide a number of informative online training sessions. These should give you a sense of the wide range of experts and enthusiasts we have feeding into our group of around 200 volunteers, and the great knowledge sharing opportunities offered by our regular meet-ups and WhatsApp group.

For more information please contact:

Chilterns ANOB

Nick Marriner

Role: Landowner Engagement Officer
Chilterns ANOB

Hannah Parry-Wilson

Role: Citizen Science Coordinator (SWC)

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Read more on our blog

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!

Tracking the Impact – 2023 season ends on a high!

The 2023 Tracking the Impact season is over. Support continues to grow, and we would like to draw 2023 to a close by saying a huge thank you to everyone involved.

Tracking the Impact: In Celebration of Volunteers

Tracking the Impact - an online celebration of the role of the volunteers involved in this Citizen Science and conservation project.

Chilterns ANOB
Chilterns ANOB

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