If you are interested in getting actively involved in recording wildlife, either in your own garden or when you are out and about enjoying the countryside, there are many ways in which you can join in.

If you have a single wildlife sighting that you would like to report, please use the iRecord Enter a Casual Record form.

Read on if you want to become more involved in recording wildlife.

Getting started

Help with identification

If you are new to recording, you may not know a great deal about particular species, but enthusiasm for finding out more is a great way to start.  If you need help with identifying species then iSpot is a really good place to begin.

iSpot is a website aimed at helping anyone identify anything in nature.  Once you’ve registered, you can add an observation to the website and suggest an identification yourself or see if anyone else can identify it for you.  You can also help others by adding an identification to an existing observation, which you may like to do as your knowledge grows. Your reputation on the site will grow as people agree with your identifications.

Go to the iSpot website

You can also look at our suite of ID Resources

Ready to record?

In the UK there are a number of tools available to record wildlife. Two of the most popular are iRecord and iNaturalist.

iRecord

If you know a little about wildlife and have some confidence in identifying what you have seen, then iRecord is the place to go!  It is a website for sharing wildlife observations, including associated photos. The aim of iRecord is to make it easier for wildlife sightings to be collated, checked by experts and made available to support research and decision-making at local and national levels.

You can register quickly and for free and once you’ve registered you can add your own wildlife records for others to see, and you can see what has been recorded by others. Your data will be kept secure and will be backed up regularly. Automatic checks will be applied to your observations to help spot potential errors, and experts can review your sightings. All wildlife sightings for non-sensitive species are shared with other users and will be made available to National Recording Schemes and Local Environmental Record Centres.

Go to iRecord

iNaturalistUK

One of the world’s most popular nature apps, iNaturalist helps you identify the plants and animals around you. It is a place that you can share what you see in nature, set up your own monitoring project and meet a growing community of nature recorders. It’s great for those just starting to learn about recording wildlife and is also used by experts. It’s widely used in BioBlitz projects such as the international City Nature Challenge.

By being part of the UK iNaturalist community you can help provide quality data for use by scientists and researchers. Data on iNaturalistUK will be regularly shared with GBIF and available for use by National Recording Schemes and Local Environmental Record Centres.

iNaturalistUK is a partnership between the NBN Trust, the Marine Biological Association (MBA) and the Biological Records Centre (BRC). iNaturalist is a joint initiative by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society.

Go to iNaturalistUK

Local and national groups

Wherever you are in the UK, there are likely to be recording groups in your area.  People involved in these groups are often experts in identifying particular species, for example local bird groups, or local bat groups.  These groups feed the information they collect into Local Environmental Record Centres or National Recording Schemes, so that the data can be used in many ways for different projects.

Local and national surveys

Across the UK there are many surveys taking place which relate to particular species.  Some of these are high profile monitoring schemes such as the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, but others relate to lesser known species.  Whatever the survey relates to people are often encouraged to send their wildlife sightings to them.

Go to the database of wildlife surveys and recording schemes