Take part in City Nature Challenge this Spring!

City Nature Challenge is an epic global mission to record as much wildlife as possible, across 4 days, from Friday 26th April – Monday 29th April 2024. Join us in the West of England as we join forces to collect more records of biodiversity across our region, at the same time as 450+ other city regions across the globe!

How do I take part?

Take photos of any plant, animal, or any evidence of life found in the ‘West of England’ (Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, and North Somerset) on the 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th of April. Then, upload your photos to the free iNaturalist app or website anytime between the 26th April and the 5th May, so that they are included in the total count.

You don’t need to be an expert to take part. iNaturalist will suggest an identification, and a global community of online wildlife enthusiasts and experts will be able to confirm your identification.

Top tip!

For the best chance of correct identification, try to take more than one photo of each species, from different angles if possible. Although this may not always be possible (for example, with fast-moving species like birds), it improves your chances of your species being correctly identified by the online community.

Why take part?

We can only protect wildlife if we know it is there. By participating in the City Nature Challenge, not only do you learn more about your local nature, but your observation efforts can help protect nature in the spaces where you live and inform plans for tackling the ecological emergency in the UK. Plus it’s fun to get out there, spend more time in nature, and see what wildlife you can find! Your record could turn out to be a rare species, or something not yet recorded in your area.

Another top tip!

Before you start recording, it’s important to make sure that your iNaturalist settings are set up to allow for observations to be shared with other UK datasets, such as the NBN Atlas (UK’s largest collection of biodiversity information) and the Local Environmental Records Centre. This will allow scientists, ecologists and land managers to use your wildlife data records, which is vital to support conservation work.

How to check which licence is attached to your observations:

On Android phones: Open the iNaturalist App: Settings > Default Licenses > Change licence to CC0 or CC-BY.

For iPhone users: Go to the desktop website for iNaturalist UK and log in: Account Settings > Content and Display > Licensing > Change licence to CC0 or CC-BY.

For website users: Log onto iNaturalist UKAccount Settings > Content and Display > Licensing > Change licence to CC0 or CC-BY.

CC0 or CC-BY are both types of “open licences”, which will allow your record to be used by others. However, these recommendations may not be appropriate for all users. Find out more about licencing here.

Fancy running your own local BioBlitz event, or organising a guided nature walk as part of City Nature Challenge?

If within the West of England project area, your records will automatically count towards the West of England CNC total! Check out the free resources on our UK City Nature Challenge resources page, and additional resources on the National BioBlitz Network page for information to help you run an event. Get in contact with us via email or social media to let us know about your activity, and we will share and promote it across our social media channels for you.

Want to keep up to date with CNC 2024 activity in the West of England?

You can ‘join’ our project page to be sent notifications of journal updates, or follow us on social media @festofnature on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. To contact us, you can send a message on iNaturalist or email us at BioBlitz@bnhc.org.uk.

The City Nature Challenge international effort is coordinated by the citizen science teams at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California Academy of Sciences.