We can only help support Wales’ birds if we understand where and how they live. Conservation work based on well-disseminated, good quality research work is crucial, and we are fortunate in the UK that such activities are undertaken by both professional organisations and expert, unpaid volunteers.
In order to support such work, WOS offers small grants. In early 2021 we offered grants of up to 75% (maximum £1000) towards projects that benefit species listed as priorities on the application form. For 2021/2022 we are offering the same level of grants, but we are accepting applications in two time windows – 31 December 2021 and 30 June 2022, so that projects focusing on either breeding or wintering birds can receive more timely consideration. Further monies may be available for the continuation of the project into 2023 should the interim project results indicate that there would be a real conservation benefit. However, consideration will also be given to research into species for which there is a significant gap in knowledge.
In 2019 two grants were awarded, for studies on Little Terns and Hawfinches and some details can be found here. In 2020 one grant was awarded, to support a Swift project, but this proved impossible to implement, because of COVID restrictions, and this project will now be undertaken in 2021. In 2021 we have awarded three grants: (1) the effectiveness of remote audio units (AudioMoths) to detect scarce woodland birds, especially Hawfinches. (2) a detailed study of the breeding ecology of the Tree Pipit in Blaengarw, East Glamorgan. (3) thermal imaging technology to support nest recording and ringing in East Glamorgan.
Your project should aim to improve:
1. Current knowledge of status, trends, distribution or species requirements, especially priority research species – more details of these on the form.
2. Habitat conditions at specific sites (the work undertaken will need to be sustainable)
3. Production and dissemination of species information to assist others in conservation action.
The deadline for completed applications for the first window is 31 December 2021 and for the second window 30 June 2022. Grants will be made in two parts: half before the project and half upon receipt of a report on the work.