BTO Strategy

We have achieved a great deal over the last few years, underlining the vision and ambition of our BTO Strategy 2009–14 and BTO Strategy 2015–20. The work that we have done has delivered solid foundations, from which we can develop and grow the reach and relevance of this wonderful organisation as we move towards our 90th anniversary in 2023 with our new Strategic Plan.

BTO strategy 2023–30

We’ve launched our new strategy for 2023–30.

Read all about its objectives and actions areas, and how it aligns with our values on our dedicated strategy microsite.

Previous Strategic Plans


BTO has extended its current strategy through 2021 and 2022, and is continuing to deliver the commitments made, which coalesce around the following four core aims:

  1. Enable and deliver high quality, impartial and impactful science
  2. Share data information and knowledge through excellent communications, inspiring and empowering people with an understanding of birds and the importance of knowledge
  3. Enthuse and encourage existing and new members, enabling more people to learn and grow through participation and environmental discovery, and
  4. Grow our financial independence.

In 2023, BTO will celebrate its 90th anniversary. As part of those celebrations we will launch a new strategy that, whilst remaining true to the original core value of its central founder Max Nicholson, “recognising the potential of cooperative birdwatching to inform conservation”, will focus to a much greater extent on the impact of BTO work.

We intend to reach this anniversary as a fit and healthy organisation, confident in its ability to deliver for birds. This will mean building on what BTO has always done best: the robust, long-term national monitoring schemes, capitalising on novel scientific approaches like tracking technology and acoustic monitoring, and engaging new supporters, particularly through our youth work.


Our strategy recognises that the world in which we operate is changing, providing some challenges but many more opportunities. BTO science provides a powerful context for our understanding of the environmental changes affecting wildlife. The observations of 50,000 volunteers, crafted into robust scientific evidence in partnership with BTO professionals, provides the long-term knowledge needed to track and understand change in wildlife populations. We present the results of our outstanding science in a manner that inspires our supporters, informs decision-makers and stimulates a deeper public understanding about the state of our natural world.

Our science, informing change

It is not enough to record our diminishing natural wealth. BTO is committed to interpreting data through observational and experimental research into the causes and drivers of environmental change. We will use this work to measure the consequences to the natural world – both positive and negative – of particular decisions, and thereby inform the choices of policy-makers.

Our evidence is renowned for its scientific quality and we have an excellent peer-reviewed publication record. BTO researchers have, for example, been instrumental in identifying the drivers of farmland bird declines and our ground-breaking work on migrant birds, and the way we tell stories about these intrepid global travellers, exemplify how our work makes a difference, not only to the birds but also to the public’s understanding that something needs to be done.

Weaving the strategy into everything we do

Our strategy has not sat idly on a shelf; it is integrated into the way we do our business, interact with our volunteers and supporters, communicate our findings and work with our partners. Through our strategy we work to deliver outstanding science that inspires action for a wildlife-rich world.

Help us deliver our aims

The development of our strategy involved discussions with our members, volunteers, supporters and other stakeholders. We want these conversations to continue.

  • Please contact us at info [at] (subject: BTO%20Strategy) to discuss the strategy and how you can work with us to deliver the objectives we have set ourselves for the coming years.

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