WWT has been conserving waterbirds in the Northwest European Flyway (NWEF) ever since the Severn Wildfowl Trust was established in 1946. This work began with pioneering studies of migration, monitoring waterbirds populations in the UK through the National Wildfowl Counts (now the Wetland Bird Survey), and developing novel catching and marking techniques such as cannon-netting and engraved colour rings.

Whooper swans

Today our work in the NWEF has three main components – our species conservation work, long terms studies of Svalbard barnacle goose and whooper swan, and our monitoring programmes on swans and geese and through the WeBS partnership.

We take a partnership approach to conserving species in the NWEF including working with international organisations and conventions such as Wetlands International and the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement. Nationally we work closely with the British Trust for Ornithology, RSPB, JNCC and the country agencies.


Bewick’s swans

Common scoter

Greenland white-fronted goose

Swan and Goose Monitoring Programme

Taiga Bean Goose

Wetland Bird Survey