Natural England appointed Applied Ecology to complete breeding birds surveys and reports of two nationally important Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) as part of a national SSSI monitoring and evaluation programme.
The two sites were Chippenham Fen and Snailwell Poor’s Fen SSSI in Cambridgeshire, and Roman River SSSI in Essex. A six-visit Breeding Birds Survey (BBS) methodology was planned and undertaken at each site by Applied Ecology, with bird registrations displayed using a Geographic Information System (GIS) as individual sightings and as heat distribution maps to show areas of highest bird activity.
The breeding birds data for each site was compared with historic breeding birds information supplied by Natural England and changes in the breeding bird assemblages discussed in each report.
Natural England’s Lead Advisor for the project commented that “the reports were excellent and they particularly liked the density heat maps as a way to illustrate the value of different habitats on site”.