The 'What's Up?' project

More than half of Scotland is upland. The beautiful mountains and glens are special places for both people and wildlife. Land use and climate are changing. How are Scotland’s wild lands responding and what are the impacts on our cherished wildlife?

The truth is in many cases we don’t know - not enough people are looking.

The 'What's Up?' project ran from 2012 to 2015 and successfully increased biological recording in upland habitats by working with a range of audiences. Although the project has now come to an end there are still a number of things that you can do to help - increasing monitoring in the uplands is still a priority. Just pick the option that suits your skills and the time that you can spare:

1. Submit bird sightings from uplands habitats

You can submit sightings of interesting/notable species or complete lists of everything that you see. Even if you only enter one record this will still be useful. Please use the BirdTrack system to submit your records, online or via phone app. Read more guidance about the sort of records that are particularly useful.

2. Take part in BBS Upland Rovers

Do you enjoy spending time in the uplands, mountains and other remote areas? If so, could you help us to monitor the bird species which live here? BBS Upland Rovers is a flexible scheme which allows you to choose from an array of survey squares and to make a single one-off visit to your choice of square. It's a great way to explore new places while contributing valuable data.

3. Monitor your own upland Breeding Bird Survey square

Taking on a BBS square is very rewarding and it's easier than you might think. A crisp early morning out in the hills, surrounded by singing birds and other wildlife is a memorable experience. Only two visits are required! If you are an experienced birder, sign up now! If you lack confidence, consider a training course.

4. Mentor a less experienced BBS recorder

Would you like to see your bird-watching skills passed on? Could you show someone else the basics of carrying out a BBS survey? Your support and encouragement could make all of the difference. Mentoring can be very rewarding for both mentor and mentee. Why not give it a go?

For more information, email ben.darvill [at]

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The What's Up? project was generously funded by Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Ornithologists' Club. We are very grateful to these organisations and also to the many other partners who we worked closely with during the course of the project.

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