Since 2002, a number of BTO Scotland projects have explored how to involve more volunteers in survey work, and the design of field work that is attractive to those volunteers. These have included involving hillwalkers in recording Ptarmigan and other upland birds, trial volunteer surveys of Short-eared Owls and other open-country species, and monitoring urban biodiversity.
Between 2007 and 2010, we also ran a major partnership project with the Scottish ornithologists’ Club, Building Bird Monitoring in Scotland (or BBMS), aimed at attracting, training and supporting bird recording volunteers across Scotland, with bespoke activities for experienced birdwatchers, beginners, the land-owning and managing community (estate owners and managers etc), and hillwalkers. We are keen to share our experiences and work collaboratively to help to develop and promote best practice in volunteer support, and a full evaluation of the success of the BBMS project and lessons learned is available here).
Staff contacts: Chris Wernham & ben.darvill [at] bto.org (Ben Darvill).