Wildlife recording projects - a fun way to help nature

Discover how you can get involved with supporting local wildlife through recording initiatives and citizen science projects.

23rd May 2024

Now that our ‘Tails of UK Wildlife campaign is in full bloom, let us introduce the exciting ways you can get involved with supporting local wildlife through recording initiatives!

You may be wondering what ‘recording initiatives’ are – just like citizen science projects, recording initiatives invite you to record the wildlife you encounter, to help monitor species and nurture nature. 

To make a difference and find out exactly how to get involved in a recording initiative near you, check out the following wildlife recording projects…


Created by Project Seagrass, the SeagrassSpotter app is a global mapping tool that empowers you to get involved in restoration projects across Wales, Scotland, and England! Seagrass ecosystems are vital for the health of our oceans – so, monitoring seagrass and replanting lost seagrass meadows are important steps for worldwide seagrass conservation.

Bee spotting

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust has several bee spotting projects you could join in with, no-matter where you like in the UK, including BeeWalk. While recording any bees you see, you’ll need to note:

  • What type of bee (e.g. honey bee, bumblebee or solitary bee). 
  • Where you saw the bee. 
  • When you saw the bee. 
  • Who spotted the bee (in case you’re reporting on behalf of a child). 

UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme (PoMS)

Since pollinators play such a vital role in nature, recording helps to support their survival; if scientists can understand pollinator populations, they’ll be better able to protect them. So, from 10-minute counts to 1km square surveys, find out how you can take small steps towards a wildlife-friendly future through PoMS

Big Butterfly Count

As a UK-wide survey, the Big Butterfly Count assesses our environment’s health by counting butterflies and day-flying moths. This butterfly recording project is run by the Butterfly Conservation charity and is supported by major celebrities like Sir David Attenborough! 

A native British butterfly landing on a flower

National Moth Recording Scheme (NMRS)

Moth recording is essential for their future conservation. So, by sending your recordings to UKMoths, you’re helping to save these fascinating creatures – and giving yourself a great excuse to get out and explore in nature! 

Living with Mammals

Here in the UK, our precious mammals are in decline. Whether you live in a city flat, on a country estate, or any type of space in-between, you can support our wonderful UK wildlife by recording your sightings of mammals. Visit the People’s Trust for Endangered Species’ (PTES) guide to spotting urban mammals for top tips to find, identify, and record wildlife. 

Basking Shark Project

Did you know that there’s opportunities for you to get involved with shark conservation right here, in the UK? The Shark Trust’s Basking Shark Project invites you to become a citizen scientist by reporting any sightings of these gentle giants between May and October, a.k.a. ‘Basking Shark season’. You’re most likely to see basking sharks along the following coastal hot spots:

  • Hebrides (Skye and Mull).
  • Isle of Man.
  • Ireland (Malin Head).
  • Southwest England (Devon and Cornwall).


Run by Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), Shorewatch relies on volunteers in Scotland to record any whales and dolphins they observe during 10-minute surveys. Being able to reliably note when whales and dolphins are visiting certain sites can assist WDC in monitoring the behavioural patterns of whale and dolphin populations.

Coastal view across the sea from the top of a cliff in the UK

The BIG Hedgehog Map

Wherever you live in the UK, there’s a chance you’ll see a special spiny visitor – whether in your own garden or a local park. To help understand where hedgehogs are in the UK, and how they’re doing, the BIG Hedgehog Map illuminates where hedgehogs are most active. This project was created by PTES, who asks you to record hedgehog sightings via their website.  


The Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) has developed NightWatch – an excellent community science project to help you discover the hidden world of nighttime wildlife surrounding your home! If you sign up to NightWatch, you’ll receive a free kit to support your recordings, along with a handy guide to help you uncover the sounds of urban nature. All you need to do for a NightWatch survey is use the BCT-provided ultrasonic recorder while spending an hour, during sunset, recording wildlife from your garden, balcony, or window. 

Garden BirdWatch

Connect with nature in a brand-new way through the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) Garden BirdWatch project! It’s easy to take part in this recording initiative, since all you need to do is note the different birds you see in your garden over the course of a week. You’re able to report butterfly and frog sightings through the Garden BirdWatch project, too.  

Find a list of wildlife recording initiatives in the National Biodiversity Network database, offering opportunities to support wildlife wherever you’re located in the UK! Change begins with the smallest step – let’s help to save our UK wildlife, together.

Have you been involved in any wildlife recording projects? If so, please let us know via Facebook or Instagram!

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