David Norfolk

Senior Research Officer

David works on a variety of farmland research projects, and coordinates national volunteer-based surveys for the BTO.

Interests & Responsibilities

David primarily works on the preparation, coordination and delivery of multi-scale research projects within the Terrestrial Ecology team. This involves working closely with both collaborative partners and landowners, organising survey logistics, sample site preparation, extensive data collation and reporting. David is also heavily involved in the development and coordination of national-scale volunteer surveys, such as the Breeding Waders of Wet Meadows survey and the English Winter Bird Survey.  He also coordinates both annual Woodcock monitoring and national Woodcock breeding surveys.

Prior to his current role, David spent ten years delivering a significant proportion of BTO’s professional land-based survey and sampling activities, working on a number of large-scale upland and lowland farmland research and monitoring projects across the UK. As a result, David has acquired extensive experience surveying multiple taxa in arable landscapes using a variety of both standardised and novel data collection techniques. He is particularly interested in the comparative biodiversity of different farming systems and the effectiveness of agri-environment schemes.

In previous roles David has been employed as a field botanist and protected species surveyor for commercial consultancies, a freelance ecologist on national infrastructure projects and has worked with a number of conservation research NGOs in the UK and overseas. In 2010, David undertook the largest ever avifaunal survey on the remote Mauritian Island of Rodrigues to ascertain and remap the population and distribution of the Vulnerable endemic Rodrigues Fody. A keen birder, David spends much of his free time searching for birds on the North Norfolk coast.


MSc Applied Ecology and Conservation, University of East Anglia, 2010
BSc (Hons) Conservation and Land Management, University of Northampton, 2008
FdSc Land Management, University of Northampton, 2007

Recent BTO Publications

Clewley, G.D., Norfolk, D.L., Leech, D.I. & Balmer, D.E. 2016. Playback survey trial for the Little Owl Athene noctua in the UK. Bird Study 63 (part 2) : 268-272 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2016.1180344)

Other Publications

Norfolk, D. and Siriwardena, G. 2024. Review of chough management between populations - a comparison of the biotic and abiotic factors influencing chough populations across the UK and Irish range. NatureScot Research Report 1291

Davies, O.A.M., Huggins, A.E., Begue, J.A., Groombridge, J.J., Jones, C., Norfolk, D., Steward, P., Tatayah, V., Zuël, N. and Ewen, J.G. (2018), Reintroduction or natural colonization? Using cost-distance analysis to inform decisions about Rodrigues Island Fody and Warbler reintroductions. Anim Conserv, 21: 110-119. https://doi.org/10.1111/acv.12378

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