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Monitoring Biodiversity

Monitoring Biodiversity

Lead Partner

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

What has been achieved?

More than 21,000 wildlife sightings have been recorded in the New Forest, highlighting the huge success of habitat restoration efforts.

Rare woodland bats have been seen, notable bird species spotted and almost half of the UK’s species of bumblebee recorded.

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (HIWWT) worked with volunteers to carry out breeding bird surveys and monitor butterflies, bees, bats and reptiles at sites which have been restored, enhanced or better managed through four projects within the scheme:

  • Working Woodlands
  • Better Boundaries
  • Nature’s Stepping Stones
  • New Forest Invasive Non-Native Plants.

In total, 268 species of plant and animals were recorded with the help of volunteers, who have contributed 2,240 days of their time.

The results show an increase in numbers of wildlife and variety species in areas where habitat has been added to or improved, linked to adjoining habitats, or a source of food and shelter created.


  • Barbastelle and Bechstein’s bats recorded
  • 11 of the 24 UK bumblebee species seen
  • 23 of the 59 UK butterfly species seen
  • 70 bird species spotted
  • Improvements in all monitored hedgerows
  • An average reduction of 83% in rhododendron, with one site achieving 98%
  • Japanese knotweed declining at all sites.

Carmen Green, Ecologist at HIWWT, said: ‘The monitoring surveys have made a fantastic contribution to the New Forest’s wildlife database with just over 21,000 wildlife sightings. In addition, over 40 volunteers have participated in these wildlife surveys, gaining new skills and developing existing skills in species identification and surveying, while enjoying spending time in the Forest. 

‘Even over a relatively short period we have observed some exciting early indications that habitat management works are having a positive effect on wildlife across all the projects.’

Butterfly and bumblebee survey training event
Butterfly and bumblebee survey training event
Contact details

Sarah Jackson – Senior Ecologist, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust



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