Citizen Science, Surveys and Fieldwork

hand holding magnifying glass over a white daisy in a field

In order to accumulate the largest datasets possible many groups request that members of the public submit sightings to a centralised database.  The results can then be compared with previous years sightings and analysed for emerging trends. You can usually record sightings on their website or increasingly through specalised apps for your phone.  Research projects may ask for citizen scientists to complete an online survey to help answer some of the more complex problems.

Other organsiations and surveys require one off or regular surveyors to complete fieldwork across the country, these include long running surveys such as BTO's breeding bird survey.
Taking part in any of these surveys will give you useful experience and also help to extend the scientific knowledge of a species, so vital for appropriate conservation management. Some include training in survey techniques and a few may even pay expenses (these are often listed in the main volunteers section).


Participants: If you are interested in helping with any of the surveys detailed below please contact the website or person listed.
Survey Organisers: 50 word listings are free, submit your details here.

What Makes Viruses Tick?

This project aims to raise awareness of ticks and tick-borne diseases across Scotland. Our #TickMap is where you can look at and report “sightings and bitings”! Sightings from other parts of the UK and the rest of the world are welcome, and this data will be shared with the Smithsonian Institute.

Nature Overheard

Join us to investigate the impact of noise on insects near roads. Take part by recording audio and observing insects. Simply choose a nearby road, look for insects along a short section of it, and make a five-minute sound recording of the surroundings. Anyone can get involved!

Scottish Oil Beetle Search

As part of Species on the Edge, members of the public are asked to look out for oil beetles in Scotland. An ID guide is available at Please submit records using the iRecord app (with multiple photos if possible), or send in details by email

Guardians of our Rivers

Join a network of citizen scientists across Scotland. Learn how to monitor the health of your river using freshwater invertebrates with free and supported training from Buglife Scotland. No previous knowledge required. Commitment: Monthly monitoring (approx. 2 hours per month).

Mosquito Surveillance Scheme

Mosquitoes belong to the Diptera insect order, also known as two-winged flies, and are often mistaken for other blood-feeding insects like midges, horse-flies, and black-flies. The UK hosts numerous mosquito species, but the risk of virus transmission is low. Public Health England's mosquito reporting system helps identify biting species by accepting specimen and photo submissions.

Worcestershire's Wildlife Sightings

Help us to learn where Worcestershire's wildlife is and how abundant it is. We're targeting 15 species but are happy to receive records of any wildlife and will help to identify species you don't recognise. This is a partnership between Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, Worcestershire Recorders and Worcestershire Biological Records Centre.

UK Glow Worm Survey

The UK Glow Worm Survey records sightings of glow worms, and can also suggest research projects involving glow worms for dissertations. Note – these necessarily involve field work at night during June and July! Submit records to and find out more at

Stag Beetle Count

Stag beetles are threatened across Europe. To protect them, we need to monitor their numbers. You can help by counting stag beetles along a 500m walk on warm evenings six times during June and July. To find out more and sign up go to

The Dead Good Deadwood Survey

TCV Scotland have developed the Dead Good Deadwood survey to get people excited about the protection of this important micro-habitat. This easy survey can be done by anyone, and is a great way to get out and spend time in your local woodland.

The dead good Deadwood Survey from TCV Scotland

The general public play a vital part in monitoring red squirrels on the Isle of Wight.

Whether it is dead or alive an obvious red squirrel or an odd coloured squirrel they suspect may be a grey, all is of interest. If you have squirrels in the garden, there are special forms to fill in. For general sightings go to the website to fill in the form, email, ring 01983 611003 or download the app from Epicollect 5.

Butterfly citizen science

Butterfly Conservation is asking the general public to become citizen scientists in their own homes in order to help monitor the changing status of butterflies and moths across the UK. Anyone can submit recordings at

Sunset Survey:

This Survey (April - October) brings you a perfect opportunity to get together with family/friends discover bats and other wildlife in your garden, local area or even from your window or balcony. This is ideal for you if you don't have previous bat surveying experience. Find out more at

Garden BirdWatch

is the weekly wildlife survey where participants contribute sightings of species they have seen in their gardens. Through this we are able to monitor the fortune of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates in gardens contributing to our understanding of urban wildlife. Visit the website to find out more at

Nature's Calendar

What effect has recent weather had on wildlife? Does climate change affect timings in nature? Take part in the Nature’s Calendar citizen science project and help scientists discover answers to these questions. Simply record the signs of spring that you can see from your window or garden:


enlists members of the public to upload camera trap data, to help with classifying the animals pictured in camera trap footage, or both. You don't need a camera trap to take part, and you can help build up a picture of the state of our wild mammals. See

Mammal Mapper

is a FREE app that has been designed to enable you to record signs and sightings of mammals in the UK. Mammals can be recorded along a route whilst you’re walking/running/cycling or even a passenger in a car, or as one off sightings, for example a hedgehog in your garden.

National Bat Monitoring Programme

Bat numbers in the UK have declined dramatically over the last century. You can help to monitor the UK's bats by taking part in our surveys and observing these fascinating mammals in your local area. Anyone can take part, from beginners to experts.

Great British Hedgerow Survey

PTES have launched a new national hedgerow survey to understand the health of the nations hedgerows; collecting information about their structure, connectivity and wildlife value. Help us to survey hedgerows in your area. No experience necessary. To find out more email or visit the website

Rainfall Observers

SEPA is looking for volunteer rainfall observers to collect data daily at around 9am and submit the information online. There are currently 134 rainfall observers across Scotland who play an important part in collecting this valuable data for SEPA.

Seabird Watch

is a citizen science project set up by Oxford University to find solutions to the present research gaps using cameras as a monitoring network for Arctic seabird conservation. We need your help counting birds, nests and eggs in our thousands of photos to turn them into data.

RHS Cellar Slug Survey

Our survey asks members of the public to submit records of Yellow Cellar Slug and Green Cellar Slug in UK gardens, along with information about your garden so we can establish any links between habitat features and where these species occur. See the website for full details

Dragonfly surveys

Help the BDS track the distribution and health of Dragonfly populations across the UK. The BDS runs a number of Dragonfly recording projects, suitable for both experienced recorders and beginners, ranging for single species surveys to site monitoring. Find out more on the BDS website:

Have you seen a Leopard Slug in south-east or central Scotland?

If so, please let us know! The Leopard Slug (Limax maximus) is native to our region, but is under-recorded. Help us fill in the dots on our map by submitting your sightings to us. Photos would be appreciated to help us confirm sightings.

Have you seen a badger in south-east or central Scotland?

If so, please let us know. Even roadkill sightings are useful to us. Data will inform planning, conservation and research both locally and nationally. More information including how to report sightings can be found on our website.

Butterfly Conservation

has raised awareness of the drastic decline in butterflies and moths, and created widespread acceptance that action needs to be taken. Through our conservation work, we have also begun to reverse the decline of several of our most threatened species. See how you can get involved at

Badger sightings wanted.

Scottish Badgers collects all sightings of badgers seen around Scotland, from road casualties to live encounters, as well as sett records and possible badger crime. We use this information to monitor local populations and distributions. Please see the website for more information or email

Take part in the Pollinator Monitoring Scheme!

UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme (PoMS) aims to establish how insect pollinator populations are changing across Great Britain. Spend 10 minutes in the sunshine doing a Flower-Insect Timed count (FIT count) or volunteer to help with repeated surveys of 1km squares across England, Scotland and Wales – read on to find out how you can take part and help us track changes in pollinator numbers

Mammals on Roads survey from PTES

We want to know about your route and what you see along the way, dead and alive. This information is compared year to year, alerting us to changes in the wider population. Journeys should include twenty miles or more on single-carriageways and should be outside of towns or built-up areas.

The BIG Hedgehog Map

 – please help us by recording your sightings of hedgehogs (dead or alive) as well as find out where others are seeing the nation’s favourite wild animal. You can also pledge to make a Hedgehog Highway in your fence and add it to the map. This is part of Hedgehog Street, a joint campaign between People’s Trust for Endangered Species and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

Great Stag Hunt

Stag beetle sightings – let us know where you’ve spotted a stag beetle via the Great Stag Hunt! Sightings are key to finding out where populations are thriving, in need of help, or non-existent.

Penguin Watch

is a citizen science project set up by Oxford University to find solutions to the present research gaps using cameras as a monitoring network for penguin conservation. We need your help counting penguins, chicks, nests and eggs in our thousands of photos to turn them into data.

Scottish Spider Search

We need your help to find out more about 4 easily identified spiders in Scotland! Find out how to take part on The Wildlife Information Centre’s website. The survey was part-funded by Scottish Natural Heritage (now NatureScot) and is supported by the British Arachnological Society, Caledonian Conservation Ltd. and Buglife Scotland.

Living with Mammals survey

Volunteers nationwide are needed to record sightings of wild mammals, or the signs they leave behind, in gardens, parks and local green spaces, to help conservationists understand how their numbers are changing. To take part in PTES’ Living with Mammals survey, visit

Oak processionary moth (OPM)

OPM caterpillars are an insect pest of oak trees. The caterpillars and their nests contain hairs which can cause itchy skin rashes and irritations. If you think you have spotted oak processionary moth, do not touch or attempt to destroy material yourself. Please report findings to the Forestry Commission via the TreeAlert online portal. For more on OPM click here.

National Moth Recording Scheme

Run by Butterfly Conservation the NMRS is the UK recording scheme for all moth species (micros and macros). Sightings should be submitted to the appropriate County Recorder or via the NMRS online recording system

The Garden Butterfly Survey

allows you to record and report the butterflies that visit your garden over the course of a year. Create a free account, submit your sightings and help us learn more about how butterflies are faring in UK gardens. Please tell us what is fluttering behind your fence and help us to monitor garden butterfly populations.

Traditional Orchard Inventory

PTES produced the national inventory of England’s traditional orchards and are now doing the same in Wales. Help us to locate and survey traditional orchards in your area. No experience necessary, survey pack provided. Contact by email or 0207 498 4533 to request a survey pack

The National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS)

gathers data on the UK’s wild plants and habitats. Whether new to the world of wild flowers or an experienced botanist, if you are interested in joining thousands of volunteers nationwide to gather evidence of which plants are increasing or declining and the health of our habitats, visit

Record a Raptor

The Wildlife Information Centre’s Record a Raptor survey aims to gather up-to-date information on the distribution of three raptors in south-east and part of central Scotland. Please let us know every time you see a Red Kite, Kestrel or Buzzard

People's Trust for Endangered Species

run several surveys which can be done in your own time and local area. These include Living with Mammals, Mammals on Roads, Dormouse Monitoring, Water Vole Monitoring, Great Stag Hunt, Traditional Orchard Survey, the Big Hedgehog Map and the Great British Hedgerow Survey. See the website or call: 020 7498 4533

National Water Vole Monitoring Programme

Our fastest declining mammal needs your help. We launched the first ongoing national monitoring programme for water voles in 2015, the data collected will guide our conservation work and inform us where action is needed. Can you survey a site for water voles each spring?

Hedgehog Survey

The Wildlife Information Centre's Hedgehog survey aims to gather up-to-date information on the distribution of hedgehogs in our region. If you see a hedgehog in the Lothians, Borders, Falkirk, Stirling or Clackmannanshire Council areas or the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park please let us know.

Homes for Wildlife

Whatever your outdoor space, be it a balcony or courtyard, garden or window box, you’ll find expert tips and tricks to make it a happier place for you, and the nature on your doorstep.

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust runs a nationwide bumblebee-monitoring project, BeeWalk.

The scheme involves walking a self-set route once a month March - October, identifying the bumblebees you see and recording them online. Anyone can get involved, though the better your bumblebee ID the better!

Logo: NBN Trust - corporate supporter

CJS is a corporate supporter of the National Biodiversity Network Trust (NBN Trust).

The National Biodiversity Network Trust (NBN Trust) has a database of wildlife recording schemes and surveys on its website. The database lets you search for specific surveys or by species name and gives summary information with links to find out more. You can also submit information on surveys and schemes that aren't listed, so they can be added to the database.

Click here to find out how to start recording wildlife with NBN, share your data or get more involved with relevant organisations.

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