Butterfly Transect Volunteer

West Dean Woods, near Chichester and Midhurst, P018 0RU
Overview of the role:
To walk along an existing butterfly survey route weekly, recording butterflies at West Dean Woods. Transect surveys are an extremely important method of robustly measuring changes in butterfly populations. The West Dean Woods transect has been carried out for over 40 years giving a fantastic amount of data on how our management of the woods is affecting butterflies.
Type of tasks you will be involved with:
You will be walking a fixed route through West Dean Woods identifying and recording butterflies. Ideally this happens once every week in suitable weather conditions from the beginning of April until the end of September (26 counts per year). This produces extremely valuable information on which butterfly species are present, but also reveals trends such as abundance of species or the time of year they are out and about. Transects are essential to the work of conservation organisations such as Sussex Wildlife Trust and Butterfly Conservation. An experienced transect walker will be available to show you the route and help get you started.
Experience/Skills Required:
Essential: Some butterfly identification skills (training is also available). Flexibility to carry out the survey when the weather is good. Desirable: West Dean Woods is in a remote rural location and therefore this position is most suited to someone who lives or works close to the reserve
Days/Times we would like you to be available:
Ideally butterflies are recorded along the transect each week from the beginning of April until the end of September (ideally producing 26 counts a year). Transect walks need to be undertaken in suitable weather for butterfly activity and in the middle portion of the day.
Benefits to volunteer & possible training opportunities:
Training in transect walking can be given. Butterfly identification training can be given in a 1-2-1 session at Woods Mill. Access to a beautiful private nature reserve Travel expenses

Email [email protected]

Please include a paragraph about why you are interested in the volunteer role and any experience you already have. Enthusiasm is as important as is an interest in butterflies.

You will then be invited to have a chat about the role and see if it would be something you might enjoy. 

For more detailed information on transect walking in Sussex, please see the Butterfly Conservation – Sussex Branch website