SBS believes that the evidence base that informs UK policy is inadequate or lacking, and more needs to be done to identify the real drivers behind continued songbird declines.

It is widely recognised that high predator numbers are impacting populations of waders and ground-nesting birds. But when it comes to songbirds, the official line is that there is ‘little evidence’ that this has any effect on songbird populations.

SBS has found that this generally means ‘little research’, and there is no appetite to conduct studies that might lead to unpalatable conclusions e.g. a wider case for predator control.

We commission and fund high-quality scientific research to fill in these evidence gaps.


Through scientific research, we aim to identify not only the causes of songbird decline but also effective management and mitigation measures to help restore small bird populations. Details of our current and previous research projects are below.

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The latest updates on our research programme