GSMP network

Vols ring readingThe Goose & Swan Monitoring Programme (GSMP) network is comprised of a variety of organisations, groups and individuals involved in goose and swan monitoring throughout the UK, and in other countries within the flyways of the UK’s goose and swan populations. The greatest strength of the GSMP is the tremendous and generous contribution of this network, with participants involved in activities such as ring-reading, counting and catching birds.

Below are various resources and information for GSMP participants.

WWT’s COVID-19 guidance for the GSMP network

Updated: 18 September 2020 PLEASE READ THE GUIDANCE DOCUMENT LINKED HERE The health of the Goose & Swan Monitoring Programme (GSMP) network of counters and of those landowners and communities with which we interact is of the upmost concern to WWT. No volunteer should feel under pressure to carry out fieldwork if they do not feel comfortable doing so, or if they are concerned about the impacts of carrying out survey work on relations with landowners or other members of the public. All participants must follow the government guidance in their geographic region and local area regarding outdoor activities and travel. Please also consider that such guidance may change quite rapidly in response to local or wider outbreaks.

Waterbird-Monitoring-OnlineGSMP online recording

Submit your counts for the Icelandic-breeding Goose Census or National Goose and Swan age assessments using the online recording forms at WWT Watebird Monitoring Online. The site also enables you to view all the data that you have provided for these surveys.

Further information about how to register to use the system are available on the site, together with other online guides to help you.


The site is gradually being developed, with modules for Local Organisers and a mapping tool for logging count unit boundaries due to be added soon.

If you have any queries about using the site, please the GSMP team at

IGC_formGSMP survey forms and guidance notes

Recording forms are available to download for the following surveys:

  • Icelandic-breeding Goose Census: pdf
  • National goose and swan age assessments: pdf
  • International Swan Census: pdf 


Guidance notes are available to download for the following surveys:

  • Whooper and Bewick’s Swan age assessments, including an ageing guide: pdf


GooseNews is the annual newsletter of the GSMP and is available to download from the Reports and Newsletter page. The newsletter contains articles on relevant goose and swan activities, reports from recent GSMP surveys, along with other research and conservation news related to goose and swan monitoring.


Health and safety guidance for GSMP participants

A set of guidance notes containing information on good practice around health and safety whilst undertaking fieldwork can be found here. These are not compulsory but you may find them helpful to read before undertaking fieldwork.

Please also see COVID 19 guidance for GSMP participants.

WWT has carried out a general risk assessment for ornithological fieldwork surveying done on behalf of WWT for the Goose & Swan Monitoring Programme (GSMP). This form has been made available for information purposes only. GSMP WWT risk assessment

GSMP privacy policy

This privacy policy sets out how the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) processes personal data we collect
from you or are provided by you for the purposes of the Goose & Swan Monitoring Programme (GSMP).
WWT is committed to protecting the personal information of all GSMP participants, supporters and

GSMP privacy policy statement

International Swan Census privacy policy statement

Getting involved

New participants to the GSMP are always welcome and there are a number of different ways in which volunteers can take part.

Under 18? Please note, all volunteers must inform WWT if they are less than 18 years of age. Parents or guardians of the under-18 will be asked to sign a ‘Parental Consent Form’ stating that they agree to their child undertaking the activities and have made them aware of the associated risks. To obtain a copy of the Parental Consent Form, please contact the GSMP Team at WWT (see below).

Monitoring numbers and distribution: There are a variety of GSMP surveys that are designed to monitor the size and distribution of the UK’s swan and goose populations; some are undertaken annually, whilst others are carried out periodically.  These surveys require varying levels of expertise, but for the most part observers need to be confident in their bird identification and have reasonable experience of counting birds.  For further information, please see the Abundance page.

Monitoring breeding success: The annual reproductive success of each of the UK’s migratory swan and native goose populations is assessed through the GSMP, and involves observers recording the number of young birds present amongst flocks. The level of expertise required depends on the species involved, but counters must be confident in identifying first-winter birds and have reasonable experience in counting birds. Further information can be found on the Breeding success page.

If you are interested in getting involved in any aspect of the GSMP, please see the relevant survey page for specific contact details or contact WWT’s GSMP Team.


You can contact us by:

      • post to GSMP Team, WWT, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire GL2 7BT, UK
      • email
      • phone +44 (0) 1453 891900