Research and Ecological Surveys

Survey and Data Management Volunteers

Bird ringing

Research and surveying is a vital element of the Earth Trust’s work.  As part of our Food and Farming, Future Forest and Water and Wetlands programmes we are developing sustainable land management models. Surveying is a vital part of this process, providing evidence for best practise and allowing us to assess how well our sites are doing under current management and where adjustments maybe required.

Ecological surveying is undertaken by flexible volunteer working groups – these are trained volunteers who undertake surveying on days and times which suit their busy schedules. Some survey methodologies require a minimum of weekly surveys but which day remains flexible and can often be very weather dependant!

If you are a student looking for a placement with us please click here to find out more.

Current opportunities:
  • Bird surveying: additional bird survey transects are shortly to be added to the current series. New volunteers are sought to shadow current volunteers and take over the new transects. This data will feed into the national BTO records.
  • Botanical surveying: experienced botanists are sought to assist with numerous surveys across all sites and assist with training new volunteers.
  • Butterfly surveying: provide data to enable the land management practices to be accessed on each site. This data feeds into the national butterfly monitoring scheme.
  • Data management: on-going data management is essential to ensure information is available for wider research purposes and to inform best practise. In addition to entering current, on-going surveying and we are consolidating a 30 year data archive to make these long term data sets available for further research and to share.
  • Deer damage and density: provide a clear picture of the movement and activity of deer across our sites to inform upon current control measures.
  • Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping: on-going mapping projects include digitizing deer damage data, squirrel damage data, new surveying transects, population records and more. The Earth Trust uses the freeware QGIS.
  • SurveyingHedgerows: help us build a picture of the current biodiversity and structure to gain understanding and inform future management.
  • Hydrological levels: monitoring of borehole levels is crucial to provide an on-going assessment of wetland dynamics and inform upon best practise. Opportunities available for Wallingford sites and at the Earth Trust Centre.
  • Squirrel damage: provide a clear understanding of current squirrel impacts across our sites to inform upon current control measures.
  • Water quality: provide a quarterly snapshot of water quality of all of the water bodies, across all Earth Trust sites. The testing kits have been provided by the Freshwater Habitats Trust as part of their Clean Water for Wildlife project. Earth Trust data will feed into their national data set and the global data set of the Earth Watch Freshwater Watch programme.

If you would like to assist with any of the above surveys or find out more please email to register as an Earth Trust volunteer noting your key area of interest, or find out more about higher education placements.