Bird Ringing Training at CVRS

The aims of the Ringing Station are to allow the exploitation of a large site by the co-operative work of a number of ringers and to provide a large database available for analysis by the BTO and members. To this end we operate two Constant Effort Sites during the summer in addition to more general ringing.

In accordance with BTO regulations, trainees may only operate under supervision. Newly joined A or C ringers should attend a few times with senior existing members to familiarise themselves with the established ringing sites and general procedures.

Once qualified ringers have familiarised themselves with procedures, keys to the gate and the hut are available from the treasurer at cost. Members should ensure that the ringing hut doors and windows are locked when no-one is present, and that the outer gate is closed and locked by the last person to leave.

When members attend the Ringing Station and take part in ringing, a daily Hut Tax is payable. Coffee and tea are available at a small charge per cup.Facilities for cooking are available.

During the Constant Effort season (end April to end August) CES visits take priority over all other ringing. The dates of proposed CES visits will be marked on the wall calendar and contact telephone numbers for each site will be available. It is most important that no nets are set in CES sites during the three days immediately preceding each visit.

CES net sites will be shown on a sketch map in the ringing hut, these are by definition fixed and must not be modified. Their nets are individually designated and kept in a specific CES cupboard. Other regular established sites are marked on the maps. These are not sacrosanct but they are sites which have proved to be good over the years. They are cut out and often with guys in position (and sometimes poles) to fit suggested net lengths. It is obviously undesirable to cut new sites through reed beds during the breeding season (April to mid-Aug).


Good bird-watching experience and expertise is necessary before anyone considers becoming a ringer as correct identification is vital.

For those wishing to join as trainees a few visits as a helper are needed so that both the potential trainee and the trainer(s) can assess the trainee`s suitability. A considerable commitment of time and effort is involved in training which will extend over a period of more than a year. A trainee will be allocated a specific trainer, but can ring at Chew if an A ringer is present and prepared to oversee his/her operations. It is a complete waste of time for both trainee and trainer if the trainee only turns up infrequently. A trainer is likely to be present at almost any Sunday from spring through to autumn - and at most other times of the year. Telephone numbers of active trainers will be available so that likely ringing sessions can be ascertained.

Operations do not start with ringing. Before this nets have to be erected and in summer this will take place early in the morning or even the previous evening. It is obviously not reasonable to turn up after all the preliminary work has been done and expect to start ringing birds, nor to leave all the clearing up after the days operations to others. This is all part and parcel of the trapping process. Maintenance of the hut and equipment, and management of the net sites are all necessary. This takes place throughout the year with several days being set aside for specific tasks.