Gillian Birtles

WeBS Counter Network Organiser

Gill is responsible for supporting and coordinating the network of volunteer counters who carry out the Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) across the UK, acting as the main point of contact in the WeBS team.  

WeBS Core Counts is a year-round survey of waterbirds on a range of wetland habitats in the UK, with over 3,000 volunteers counting over 5,000 count areas. Gill works closely with the WeBS National Organiser, the WeBS Officer and the Information Systems Team to ensure the efficient and effective running of the Wetland Bird Survey, especially by supporting new and existing volunteers.

Interests & Responsibilities

Prior to joining the BTO, Gill worked in West Yorkshire as an environmental consultant on development projects. Before this, she studied Wildlife Conservation at Liverpool John Moores University and spent her placement year carrying out practical and research work at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust reserve in Slimbridge.

Gill has also carried out conservation and research work all around the UK, South Africa, Peru and the USA.


BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation, Liverpool John Moores University, 2011-2015

Recent BTO Publications

Woodward, I.D., Calbrade, N.A., Birtles, G.A., Feather, A., Peck, K., Wotton, S.R., Shaw, J.M., Balmer, D.E. & Frost, T.M. 2024. Waterbirds in the UK 2022/23.
Austin, G.E., Calbrade, N.A., Birtles, G.A., Peck, K., Wotton, S.R., Shaw, J.M., Balmer, D.E. & Frost, T.M. 2023. Waterbirds in the UK 2021/22: The Wetland Bird Survey and Goose & Swan Monitoring Programme. 44pp
Frost, T.M., Calbrade, N.A., Birtles, G.A., Hall, C., Robinson, A.E., Wotton, S.R., Balmer, D.E. and Austin, G.E. 2021. Waterbirds in the UK 2019/20. 40pp
Teresa M. Frost, Neil A. Calbrade, Gillian A. Birtles, Heidi J. Mellan, Colette Hall, Anna E. Robinson, Simon R. Wotton, Dawn E. Balmer and Graham E. Austin. 2020. Waterbirds in the UK 2018/19.

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