Data Analysis
We count!

Favourite bird feeder food for 

Song Thrushes and Blackbirds

1 - 14 November 2018

We took a new random sample from 50 of our members and asked them which kinds of bird feeder food were favoured among Song Thrushes and Blackbirds between 1 - 14 November 2018. The results suggest that mealworms, sultanas and oats are top of the menu choices for those birds. 

Wildlife garden / allotment work

October 2018

We took a random sample from 100 members of Felixstowe's Community Nature Reserve and asked them how many hours they spent in October on wildlife-friendly activities eg work on bird feeders, hedgehog homes, ponds etc. Our follow-up work revealed that sampled people said they prefer to 'target' their work in Autumn, given the unfavourable weather.

Garden bird feeding analysis

September 2018

We wanted to find the top five birds which use garden feeders in September 2018. We therefore took a random sample of 100 of our members and asked them to monitor which birds used their garden feeders. We conclude that it might be best to regularly change the location of garden bird feeders in each garden so each bird has new opportunities to use each feeder. We also recommend that feeders are cleaned regularly.

Average networking activities

15 July - 15 August 2018

We took a random sample of 100 of our members and asked them how many days between 15 July - 15 August 2018 they provided food and water for local wildlife in the members' gardens, allotments or window boxes. We also wanted to know how often our sampled members offered encouragement and practical help to family and neighbours in activities related to our Community Nature Reserve.  

Evaluating our work: 8 August 2018

We always want to improve!

As we enter our fifth month, we wanted to evaluate our performance. We used the Ten Principles for Best Practice in Citizen Science, as published by the European Citizen Science Association, as the basis for our questions. All 30 members of our group chose to participate. (Participation was anonymous). The results are shown on this heat map. We conclude that we have made a good start but there is room to build on our achievements so far. 

The rise and fall of swift sightings 

April - August 2018

We wanted to monitor the rise and fall of swift sightings in central Felixstowe between their  arrival in 2018 - which was May 7, and the time when they appear to start their migration away from Felixstowe. Our chart shows that there was a peak of 63 reported sightings during the last week in June. Since that peak, there has been a clear decline in reported sightings. This chart was created in Excel.   

Pond Skater Sightings 1 August 2018

We love Pond Skaters!

Throughout July and August, Felixstowe's Community Nature Reserve encourages all local people to build wildlife ponds. Feedback from local people shows that pond skaters (Gerris lacustris) are a particular favourite. We therefore took a random sample of 100 of our members who have wildlife ponds and asked them how many times they saw a pond skater on 1 August 2018. Among the highlights of this survey, we found that 9 people reported seeing 8 pond skaters, 17 people reported seeing 7 pond skaters, 22 people reported seeing 6 pond skaters and 18 people reported seeing 5 pond skaters.   

Hedgehog Sightings 1 - 10 July 2018

Everyone saw at least one hedgehog!

We took a random sample of 100 of our members and asked them how many times they saw a hedgehog in their back gardens between 1 - 10 July this year. The results show that everyone saw at least one hedgehog. The average number of sightings was almost 6 (5.68 to be precise). Among the highlights of this data set, 4 people reported a hedgehog sighting on each day of the survey; 6 people reported 9 sightings; 8 people reported 8 sightings; 16 people reported 7 sightings; and 22 people reported 5 sightings. This data analysis was completed in R.

Measuring our Nature Reserve

It's growing all the time!

We wanted to estimate the average size, and total size, of wildlife-friendly areas in local gardens. We therefore took a random sample of 100 of our members. The smallest wildlife-friendly area in the sample was 1 square yard. The largest area was 9 square yards. The mean was shown to be 3.65 square yards. With 1029 members at the time of writing, we estimate that our Community Nature Reserve covers about 3755 square yards. Our distribution graph was created in Excel.

Box plot of Hedgehog sightings

1 - 14 June 2018

We created a new random sample from 50 of our members and then produced a box plot using R software. The box plot shows the reported sightings of hedgehogs in back gardens in the Felixstowe area between 1 - 14 June 2018. The median is shown to be 5. The maximum value is 12. The main benefit of this exercise is to show this data in a clear and visual form. It also introduced our members to the use of R software.  

Who are our most active members?

When our members encourage their neighbours!

We wanted to discover how our most active members became part of our work. At the time of doing this analysis, we had 1,016 active members. We discovered that 91.3% of those people came to us after they were encouraged to do so by their neighbours who were already members of our Community Nature Reserve. 5.1% came from reading about us on Facebook. 3.6% came to us from Twitter 

It helps to feed local hedgehogs! 


We took a new random sample of 50 local people and asked them how many times they laid out food and water for hedgehogs during the week of 21 - 27 May 2018. We then asked them how many times during that week they saw at least one hedgehog. The correlation is strong (0.9135), suggesting that it really is true that helping local hedgehogs is a good idea if you want to see more hedgehogs. 

Hedgehog data

11/05/2018

We created a random sample of 50 of our members and asked them how many days per week they laid out food and water for hedgehogs which visit their gardens. The period we were interested in was between 1 - 7 May 2018. To see the chart more clearly, please double click on it.