Monitoring of Ground Nesting Birds

The report dated October 2023 was produced by Plinke on behalf of Warwick District Council.


We note and applaud a more comprehensive report than two years previous and the inclusion in Appendix V1 of examples of good practice from Hampshire County Council. These replicate suggestions from our own 2021 report; thus we are pleased to note that the ecologist has taken our critique of the last report on board and included them in his report this year.  It is however a shame that such suggestions from our report were neither considered nor implemented three years earlier.  Valuable time and opportunities for cooperation have been lost.


  1. There is no photographic evidence of any visits in April and June. In this day and age everyone has a mobile camera. Why is there no visual evidence of these visits?
  2. The first visit on March 22nd was a Race Day at Warwick. The public has to evacuate SML three hours before the first race. Race goers are allowed to park up on the land up to six hours before racing. Horses and horse boxes are unloaded. Jockeys walk the course. Not ideal for carrying out a bird survey. Poor timing and no mention of this is in his report. Why not?
  3. Following on from the previous point. There is a plethora of dog walkers on the land on Race Days to beat the three-hour curfew. Despite this the ecologist reports only 1 male dog walker seen walking through the unfenced area. Really?
  4. Following on from the above point. There is no signage in unfenced areas asking walkers to keep to the paths, despite this being an example of good practice in our 2021 report. The ecologist cannot criticise those walking in unsigned areas.
  5. It would appear that the Meadow Pipit population has not thrived as hoped since the fencing was erected. Only one solitary pair was noted – down from 3 breeding pairs in 2019. Yet the ecologist does not address this in his summary and indeed suggests the fenced off areas should continue and expand as this would be ‘invaluable’ to ‘ground nesting birds’.
  6. Why only one aggregate map of sightings?
    Good practice would require a separate map for each visit to compare nesting sites as the season progressed.
  7. Our members noted the complete absence of nesting skylark in the newly fenced off area between footpath WB13 and the golf course. The decision to fence off this area was on the recommendation of the 2021 report by the ecologist. This lack of breeding pairs was also noted in the ecologist’s report of 2023 and he recommended that fencing now be discontinued in this area. There was no analyses of why skylarks might have abandoned this area. Our members report increase corvid activity, magpies in particular, who nest in the trees adjacent to the golf course. They are often spotted on the fence posts which provide them with ideal perches for hunting eggs and chicks.
  8. Finally. We are confused by the ecologist’s statement that he has been studying wild life for 40 years as his profile on another website lists his age at 52