Project Aims

The first breeding atlas of the birds of Bedfordshire was published in 1979, and reflected the results of fieldwork that was carried out in the county during the summers of 1968-77. Some 15 years later the second county atlas was published and that described the situation in the county between 1988 and 1992.

We started on the third such project in the summer of 2007, and will finish in the summer of 2011. As before, the base for the fieldwork is the tetrad (2-km x 2-km square), and it is intended that each of the 378 tetrads in the county are covered. By the time the new fieldwork is completed, in the summer of 2011, nearly 20 years will have passed since the previous atlas. With the apparently accelerating changes that are happening in our countryside the final results should show some staggering differences, but in the interim we will show many of the developments on this website, and to a lesser extent in The Hobby.

This local fieldwork is being run in parallel with a four-year winter and breeding season atlas project across the whole of the UK and Ireland being organised by British Trust for Ornithology in partnership with the Scottish Ornithologists' Club and Birdwatch Ireland. This will revise the distribution maps and population estimates from the 1981-84 Winter Atlas and the 1988-92 Breeding Atlas.