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.

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 Deadwood Survey

Community groups, schools, students, volunteers and nature enthusiasts are invited to complete a Scotland-wide deadwood survey to understand woodland health. Decaying and rotten trees, known as deadwood, are vital for woodland health. Spend time in your woodlands using our free resources to complete the survey.

Nurseryweb Spider Survey

- Female Nurseryweb Spiders, Pisaura mirabilis, are commonly seen in spring and summer, sometimes with large, spherical egg sacs or guarding nursery webs containing a dense ball of spiderlings. They can also have second broods – something we would like more information about. For details visit:

Cellar Spider Survey

If you're in your house more these days, we have a great opportunity for you to embrace some of your fellow residents – the Cellar Spiders. With just three species in Britain, they are easy to spot and identify. For details visit:

Have you seen an alpine newt in the UK?

Research conducted by University of Plymouth, Institute of Zoology (ZSL) and ARC Trust aims to better understand the impact and ecology of non-native newts in the UK, with a focus on alpine newts. Can you help us update our current dataset for alpine newt distribution across the UK? Read more on the website

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.

Are you a mammologist

looking for something to take your mind off being stuck at home? We need volunteers in many areas of Britain to verify records of mammal signs and sightings. Find out more about what we’re looking for on the website or contact today.

Garden Dragon Watch

is ARC’s new online garden reptile and amphibian survey. Our gardens can be oases for reptiles and amphibians and that’s important when so many places that were once good for wildlife have disappeared. But just how many people are lucky enough to see frogs, toads, newts, lizards or snakes in their gardens? Find out at

Butterfly citizen science

Wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation is asking the general public to become citizen scientists in their own homes in order to help monitor the changing trends and butterfly populations across the UK while its scientists are unable to carry out their work. Anyone can submit recordings at

Sunset/Sunrise Survey:

You can help to monitor the UK's bats by taking part in our Sunset/Sunrise Survey and recording bats (and other nocturnal wildlife) from your window/ balcony or in your own garden! Anyone can take part, find out more at

Revealing Rivers

is a new citizen-science project from Riverlution by River Stewardship Company. To help assess the biodiversity of Sheffield’s urban rivers, volunteers are encouraged to watch videos from camera traps and record the species that they see. To get involved, or for more information, visit

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

Garden Wildflower Hunt:

a citizen science project set up by the Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland with two aims: to help us find out more about the wild plants (“weeds”?) growing in our gardens; and to give people a way to improve their plant identification skills under lockdown.

Help build an Urban Tree Canopy Cover map for the UK

Tree cover can vary greatly and many towns across the world have created canopy cover targets to encourage planting and improved care of trees. It is important for us to know where we do and don’t have this resource.

How to get involved?

The Canopy Cover webmap makes it quick to assess any UK ward in three simple desk-based steps.

Step 1: Visit to download our detailed User Guide (it’s all the information you’ll need).

Step 2: Visit to view the results so far, and to download the ‘shape-file’ that you need for Step 3 for your ward of interest.

Step 3: Get assessing at, it’ll take 0.5-1.5 hours. Email the results and we’ll upload them to the map for all to see. Thank you!

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:


is a citizen science project that enlists members of the public to upload camera trap data they capture, 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 to build up a picture of the state of our wild mammals in the UK and beyond. See our site at, or our quick-start guide at

London Bird Records

Bird watchers in London have been spotting and recording birds flying in and through the city for years. People have carefully noted down the species and locations of these birds and the London Natural History Society (LNHS) has boxes of record cards of bird sightings spanning the last century.

Zooniverse need your help to digitise the data. See:

North East Bee Hunt

Urban or rural, beginner or expert, the Natural History Society of Northumbria needs your help to record five distinctive bee species in gardens across North East England. Contributing to the bee hunt is easy, and every record counts, wherever you live in the region. Further information on identifying the five target species & how to submit your records:

Rainfall Rescue

Before 1961 there were actually thousands of rain gauges but the rainfall data has not been transferred from the original hand-written paper records to something digital so that it can be used in data sets. Aiming to fill in the gaps Zooniverse show you images of rainfall data and ask you to transcribe the values. See:

Northamptonshire Amphibian and Reptile Group (Northants ARG)

A group for the study, appreciation, recording and conservation of Northamptonshire amphibian and reptile species. The group work closely with ARG UK and Back from the Brink to carry out reptile monitoring and habitat work across numerous sites. Join us! Contact Elizabeth on

The Mammal Society

runs research and citizen science projects. Find out what you can get involved in at

Help the Mammal Society track hedgehog road casualties

by using the Mammal Mapper app. The app is designed to enable you to record signs and sightings of hedgehogs and other wild 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.

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.

Plant Alert

The Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland in collaboration with Coventry University has launched PlantAlert a survey tool to report ornamental plants that are growing out of control in gardens and might later escape into the countryside. For more information, to contribute records, and view results, please go to

Ethnoveterinary Medicine Project,

based at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, is researching current knowledge of the use of plants, either as medicines or feed, to treat animals (livestock or pets). If you have contributions, please send an email to


A citizen science project focused on taking action for wildlife in private gardens, this project encourages the implementation and recording of wildlife friendly actions in communities. Take simple surveys to record changes in your garden wildlife.

RiverLife's West Lothian Aspen search

The RiverLife team at Forth Rivers Trust invite you to take part in our aspen search across West Lothian. Feeding into aspen conservation and education, the project aims to record wild and planted aspen stands across West Lothian. To get involved and access resources get in touch.

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

Biological Recording Groups

carry out wildlife surveys, gather data on wildlife and ensure that the information is available to the public. To find out how you could get involved, find out how to contact your nearest Group at

The Great British Wildflower Hunt from Plantlife

Taking part in the GBWFH is a great way to enjoy flowers, whether you’re familiar with them or not. By letting Plantlife know what you’ve found, you’ll help our work to make sure that there are more flowers and that people can enjoy them.

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.

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 is part-funded by Scottish Natural Heritage 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

Migrant Watch

The Painted Lady butterfly and Humming-bird Hawk-moth are arriving from Africa and becoming increasingly common in the UK. To find out just how common, we need your help. Butterfly Conservation is running a project to map the arrival, spread and departure of migrant insects online.

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 visit

Cardiff University Otter Project

is a 25year+ programme collecting otters found dead from across UK, for post mortem examination, to investigate pollution, health and ecology. Get involved, volunteer, check out studentships (PhD/Masters), report otters found dead: FB @otterprojectuk; Twitter @otter_project or website

Become a Community Flooding Volunteer

A Citizen Science project to help monitor local burns in Menstrie, Alva, Tillicoultry and Dollar in Clackmannanshire to monitor, record and clear debris from burns and identify and record invasive non-native plant species to assess their condition which may help prevent and alleviate flood events. No previous knowledge of the subject required. We will provide training, support and guidance. Contact for details:

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

Get free, tailor made advice from the RSPB & help turn your garden into a haven for all wildlife! whether you have a large mature garden or just a balcony, there's advice for everyone.

Cairngorms Scenic Photo Posts

The Cairngorms Scenic Photo Posts project is an initiative designed and set up by the Cairngorms National Park Authority. We would like help from the public to take photographs that will help us better understand landscape and habitat change in the National Park.

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

CJS is a corporate supporter of the National Biodiversity Network

The Network is an ever-growing network of individuals and organisations, recording and caring for the UK’s wildlife data and making it universally accessible to the public, educators, researchers, conservationists and environmental decision-makers. The partnership of the Network allows us to run the national NBN Atlas which now holds over 219 million records of wildlife in the UK as well as a growing database of habit and ecosystem data. These important resources are used daily in decision making about environmental management, and for research and conservation. The NBN is a partnership organisation and it’s through this network the NBN will grow and develop. Your membership is important in helping the Network achieve those aims.

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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