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.

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!