Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan. DRAFT Last Updated October 2021




More information can be found via the links on the left.

An alphabetic list of Local Priority Species is given in the sidebar to the right of this page.

A chart gives information on the national conservation status of the Local Priority Species including which are red, amber or green listed. Click on the image below …

Many farmland species such as Lapwing and Tree Sparrow and woodland species such as Lesser Spotted Woodpecker have failed to recover from the declines that led to red listing in the past, declining further still.

Wetland birds on the other hand have tended to fare better with the work of the RSPB, Garganey Trust and Environment Agency attracting higher numbers of waders and special breeding birds such as Bittern to the Dearne Valley.

Natural England’s Standing Advice on the requirements for assessing the impacts of development specifies the need for surveys for birds listed in Section 41 of the NERC Act, birds listed in Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, and Red and Amber list Birds of Conservation Concern.

Our focus for identifying Local Priority Species is the birds that breed or winter in Barnsley rather than any occasional visitors or birds that are on passage.

Our Local Priority Species for conservation in Barnsley are those bird species that are national priorities: on the Section 41 list of the NERC Act and/or on the BoCC Red List; and some that are Amber listed and a few that are Green listed, of local interest and concern.

Birds are threatened by a number of sources. These include intensive farming and land management, a lack of traditional management, habitat loss, decline and fragmentation, predation, competition, pollution and climate change.

Where possible positive action should be taken to halt decline and to maintain or increase the numbers of Local Priority Species, by protecting and enhancing the places and habitats where they may breed, feed or shelter.

Conservation. Some bird species are generalists but others need specific habitat features including seeds, invertebrates and other food sources, and the conditions needed for nesting, cover and roosting, including lack of predation and disturbance. Monitoring bird species populations and distribution is important for informing conservation measures

Local Priority Species

All national priority and red listed species breeding in Barnsley [34] are local priority species.

27 UKBAP (2007) and Section 41 (2010) national priority bird species are found in  Barnsley.

Although most of these [21] are included in the Red List (2015) as birds of the highest conservation concern, some are amber listed.

An additional eight red-listed birds also breed in Barnsley.

We have also taken note of species listed in Schedule 1 of the Countryside and Wildlife Act.

To these species we have added eight amber and three green listed bird species that are of local interest and concern.

This brings the total of local priority bird species up to 46.

Lists of Local Priority Bird Species are given below.

However conservation should not be limited to these species. Conservation should also include local sites where there are:

State of the UK’s Birds
published annually since 2000 by BTO, RSPB and other bodies.

Lapwing, Linnet, Grey Partridge, Skylark, Tree Sparrow, Yellowhammer Migrant: Yellow Wagtail

Curlew, Lapwing, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Snipe
Migrant: Little Ringed Plover, Avocet

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Willow Tit, Woodcock, Lesser Redpoll, Hawfinch Migrant: Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, Tree Pipit, Wood Warbler

Curlew, Red Grouse, Merlin, Short-eared owl, Golden Plover

Migrant: Nightjar, Ring Ouzel, Whinchat

Bittern, Reed Bunting

Dunnock, Song Thrush, Bullfinch, Mistle Thrush.

Migrants: Grasshopper Warbler, Cuckoo

House Sparrow, Starling, House Martin, Swift

Barn Owl, Kestrel, Merlin, Short-eared Owl

 Bird species of conservation concern breeding in Barnsley include:

Birds of Conservation Concern 2015  previously published in 2009

Bird species. From moorland birds to the profusion of waders and waterfowl in the Dearne Valley wetlands, the wide range of habitats in Barnsley supports in turn a wide range of breeding, wintering and passage birds. At least 130 bird species breed in the Barnsley area.

However in common with the rest of the country, many bird species have severely declined in numbers in Barnsley, Corn Bunting and Twite to the extent that they have not recently bred here. However there has been some success with Bittern and Avocet now breeding in the Dearne Valley.

At least 30 birds on the UK Birds of Conservation Concern (BoCC) Red List due to the severity of their decline, breed or over-winter in Barnsley.

Both national priority species and red listed species are based on decline in numbers and not rarity. Common and widespread species in decline such as House Sparrow and Starling are included.

Alphabetic List of Local Priority Bird Species

Avocet: Sched 1 Amber M

Barn Owl*: Sched 1 Green

Bittern*: S41, Sched 1 Amber

Bullfinch: S41 Amber

Cuckoo: S41, Red M

Curlew: S41 Red

Dunnock: S41 Amber

Golden Plover Green (SPA)

Grasshopper Warbler: S41 Red M

Grey Partridge*: S41 Red

Grey Wagtail: Red

Hawfinch: S41 Red

House Martin: Amber M

House Sparrow: S41 Red

Kestrel*: Amber

Kingfisher: Sched 1 Amber

Lapwing*: S41 Red

Lesser Redpoll: S41 Red

Lesser Spotted
Woodpecker: S41 Red

Linnet*:  S41 Red

Little Ringed Plover*: Green M

Merlin: Sched 1 Red (SPE)

Mistle Thrush: Red

Nightjar: S41 Amber M

Pied Flycatcher: Red M

Pochard: Red

Red Grouse: S41 Amber

Redshank: Amber

Reed Bunting: S41 Amber

Ring Ouzel: S41 Red M

Ringed Plover: Red M

Short-eared Owl, Amber (SPA)

Skylark*: S41 Red

Snipe: Amber

Song Thrush*: S41 Red

Spotted Flycatcher: S41 Red M

Starling: S41 Red

Swift: Amber M

Tree Pipit: S41 Red M

Tree Sparrow*: S41 Red

Whinchat: Red M

Willow Tit: S41 Red

Wood Warbler: S41, Red M

Woodcock: Red

Yellow Wagtail: S41 Red M

Yellowhammer: S41 Red

46 Local Priority Species in total

S41 = Section 41 List / National Priority Species UKBAP

Sched 1 = Schedule 1 W&C Act

Red/Amber/Green: BoCC lists

M = Migrant

SPA = Species for which Special Protection Area designated

Bold = At greatest risk of being lost as Barnsley breeding bird.


Most birds are protected by the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981;

Schedule 1 bird species to the extent that is an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb at, on or near an ‘active’ nest.

Local priority bird species in venn diagram chart

Grey Wagtail, Kingfisher, Pochard

Wintering birds include Teal and Wigeon in some numbers.

Bird species