Recording Birds and Butterflies in the Garden

There are a couple of schemes that ask people to record wildlife seen in gardens on a regular basis.

The Garden Bird Survey run by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has been running for decades and has collected a lot of information about trends in birds using our gardens. What they are asking you to record is the birds you have seen in your garden on a weekly basis. If you are interested in this go to this is a completely different affair to the RSPB Great Garden Birdwatch which is just about recording birds seen on a single day.

Another much newer scheme is Butterfly Conservations Garden Butterfly Survey, again it asks people to record on a weekly basis butterflies seen in the garden. Running since 2016 they reckon to have received over 70,000 records from some 1,000 gardens around the country, so why not think about add yours to the list. For more details go to These are both valid contributions to our knowledge of these species groups and well worth supporting, with the added bonus you can have a cuppa tea and a biscuit whilst doing it.

And don`t forget Nature Counts for more widespread records

Sharphill Wood Work Party

The next work party at Sharphill Wood will be on Sunday 24th April. We hope to see you there, but please let us know beforehand if possible.

Please make sure you read the detailed information on Covid-19 precautions at the end of this invitation.

When: Sunday 24th April, meeting at 09.45 and finishing about lunch time.

Who: No experience necessary and there’s always something to do even if you can’t do heavy work. Young people aged 16 or 17 must have the written permission of a parent or guardian, and children under 16 must be accompanied. Vulnerable adults must be accompanied by their carer.

Where: Meeting point will be the entrance from Peveril Drive, 09.45, or find us in the woods if you arrive later.,+West+Bridgford,+Nottingham,+UK&hl=en&ved=0CA0Q-gswAA&sa=X&ei=CeETT6X2OsKz8QOa5NnzCw&sig2=zNHwjd-TlUQ0cw33fxke2g

What: The main task will be repairing/installing path edging near the northern end of the site. Richard Elliott will be leading this work party. Relevant training will be given where necessary. Safety: All volunteers must pay attention to the safety of themselves and others. Risk assessments will be prepared and will be available for inspection on the day. Please respect all decisions of the work party leader.

Other Useful Info:

·  Please wear suitable gardening clothes and sturdy footwear. Covering arms and legs might be advisable to help avoid insect bites, ticks, stings, scratches, etc..  Also the use of insect repellent might be appropriate, particularly from spring through to early autumn.  Also bring gardening gloves and other items listed under Covid-19 precautions at the end of this email (although we will have some spare gloves if needed).

·  Bring a drink. We will stop for a break mid-morning.

·  Waterproofs / sun-cream would be useful to cover every weather eventuality!

·  It is highly recommended that you ensure your tetanus vaccinations are up-to-date.

Please advise the leader of any pre-existing condition that should be taken into account in the event of a medical emergency during the work party.

Please: Let us know (by replying to this email) if you hope to attend, so that we can ensure an appropriate supply of tools. Also look out for any further emails in case arrangements change. John Elwell (Work Party Co Ordinator)


  • Please stay away if you or anyone in your household has any Covid-like symptoms, have tested positive or are required to self-isolate.
  • Please bring hand sanitiser, disinfecting wipes and face covering (in case needed for close working).
  • If possibly bring your own gardening gloves (although we will have some spares). Please bear in mind that gloves may become contaminated, so take precautions and either wash them or leave them to quarantine after the work party.
  • Wear gloves all the time, except where impracticable. Disinfect your hands after handling anything, before eating or drinking, and at the end of the work party.
  • Please consider any areas of your body that need protection against branches, etc., including your eyes – we are unable to provide eye protection for hygiene reasons.
  • Please consider bringing your own first aid kit, although we will have one available. In the unfortunate event of an accident, we may ask you to self-administer first aid, where feasible, although we will have face masks available if we need to come close.
  • Because we will be sharing tools to some extent, you may wish to use a disinfecting wipe between uses.
  • Please maintain reasonable social distancing (from each other and from members of the public) and consider wearing a face covering if you need to work close to somebody.




An important part of nature conservation is understanding what is (and is not) around. But whilst there are dedicated volunteers who spend a lot of their time recording birds, running butterfly transects, moth trapping and researching into many other obscure groups the activity in the wider area is often less well recorded. Quite simply there is a lot of countryside, not forgetting urban areas..

So whilst I personally will concentrate on ensuring the recording the wildlife of Wilwell over the year, I also record birds, butterflies and mammals etc seen (or heard) on my walks around Rushcliffe. And although particularly looking out for more “iconic” species like Skylarks, Hares, Woodpeckers or Purple Emperors, I would also record the “usual suspects” – the Robins, Great Tits, Crows and Blackbirds, Small Tortoiseshells and Speckled Wood.

Everyone can contribute to this picture, even if it is reporting for example bird and butterfly  records in the local park or nature reserve once a month or when out walking the dog. And whilst your individual records may not seem much, when added into the general database they add to the bigger picture.,

But such records need to get into the county and national databases to be of value and for this you can use the Notts Wildlife Trust web site Nature Counts to record wildlife you have seen in the area. Straightforward to use – you just need a date, a species, numbers (if possible) and to be able to pinpoint the location on the online map. This is then forms part of the national records of wildlife distribution, helping create a picture of species distribution and abundance.

To find out more about Nature Counts and set up an account follow this link