Wensum Monitoring

Pensthorpe Conservation Trust set up Wensum Monitoring to support our survey and sightings work across the Wensum Valley. This includes working with the Upper Wensum Cluster Farm Group (UWCFG) to assist and coordinate the data collection for baseline and ongoing surveys across the 6000 hectares of the Group’s land. The turtle dove is the UWCFG’s flagship species. One of our aims is to map the occurrence of this fast-declining species along with other priority farmland and woodland species. These include grey partridge, lapwing, corn bunting, tree pipit and lesser redpoll. It is not just bird species that are recorded so sightings of grey hares, otters and water voles are all welcome.

Corncrakes are a species that Pensthorpe has worked closely with for over a decade and following the end of a release project in the Nene Washes, Cambridgeshire with partners ZSL and RSPB, Pensthorpe Conservation Trust began working at a new release site here in Norfolk. Corncrakes spend their winters in central and southern Africa, following the long migration the birds usually arrive back in the area that they were hatched or released at in May. The males call at night with a rasping call that is quite unmistakeable. We need to record as many returning birds as possible so if you do hear what you may think is a corncrake, please record the sound and where you are and let us know as soon as possible. Email: crex@pensthorpe.com or connect with us on Twitter.

Heard a Corncrake?

If you do hear a corncrake crexing here in Norfolk, email us: crex@pensthorpe.com or click here to find out more about our monitoring work within the Wensum Valley.

Surveys & Sightings

As a founder of the Upper Wensum Cluster Farm Group, Pensthorpe Conservation Trust is coordinating annual surveys which will be implemented within the landscape project areas to form an overall baseline for the Group’s 6000+ hectares. Surveys will then allow us to chart changes and create a long term picture of the ecological health of the mid and upper Wensum Valley.

In addition to the formal surveys we are also seeking sightings information mainly for corncrakes and turtle doves. We are asking visitors and locals to listen out for the distinctive crexing of the male corncrake – particularly heard at night and early morning. 

Email: crex@pensthorpe.com or connect with us on Twitter.

A Corncrake Crexing: