Record your local wildlife
Has organising a BioBlitz given you a taste for wildlife recording? Then there are lots of ways you can take part! The more you do, the more you learn and, discovering new and exciting species starts to get really addictive!
Here’s a few ways to get started.
Go on an identification course
Lots of organisations run short courses on how to identify different species groups from bees to butterflies and moths to mosses. Whether you want to boost your general ID repertoire or specialise in a particular group there are some great courses out there aimed at both the professional ecologist and amateur naturalist. Here are some ideas of who may be providing courses near you:
Specialise in a taxonomic group
As a ‘generalist’ amateur naturalist you get to know a little about a lot of different species – which is fantastic! Specialising in a particular group that fascinates you brings a whole other level of interest and value as you find yourself being able to identify and record species that generalists struggle with.
You could start with the easier groups with more visible, easily distinguished species such as birds, butterflies or bumblebees. Lots of people record these groups so you might want to give yourself a challenge and specialise in less recorded groups like beetles, flies and spiders. The more obscure and less well recorded the group the more valuable each individual record becomes!
You can teach yourself from books and the internet, learn from a fellow naturalist or join a specialist course. The Field Studies council run a Biodiversity Fellowship training recorders to identify some of the more obscure groups.
Join a local wildlife group or society
There are lots of local groups and national societies across the country that do wildlife recording in a big way.
The Natural History Museum have a list of “Nature Groups Near You” and most of these national specialist societies have local representation as well.
- Amateur Entomologists’ Society
- Amphibian and Reptile Groups UK
- Bat Conservation Trust
- Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society
- British Arachnological Society
- British Bryological Society
- British Entomological and Natural History Society
- British Dragonfly Society
- British Lichen Society
- British Marine Life Study Society
- British Mycological Society
- British Myriapod and Isopod Group
- British Naturalists Society
- British Trust for Ornithology
- Botanical Society of the British Isles
- Butterfly Conservation
- Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland
- Dipterists Forum
- Earthworm Society of Britain
- Mammal Society
- The Wild Flower Society
Take part in a Citizen Science project
There are loads of specific citizen science projects that need your wildlife records. Download iNaturalist and take part in City Nature Challenge, Help Bumblebee Conservation Trust by becoming a BeeWatcher or download the PlantTracker app to help weed out invasive plant species – to name but a few!
We have a full list of projects on our ‘Become a Citizen Scientist‘ page – find out how you can take part!
Avon Wildlife Trust
Bath & North East Somerset Council
BBC Natural History Unit
Bristol City Council
Bristol Zoo Gardens
University of Bath
University of Bristol
University of the West of England
Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
The Natural History Consortium is a charitable collaboration between these member organisations.
Engaging people with the natural world through collaborative action. Reg Charity 1123432