Citizen science projects

Citizen science projects

Many conservation organisations rely on data collected by members of the public to help them monitor and protect wildlife. Discover how you can become a citizen scientist with The Wildlife Trusts.

Matt Slater / Cornwall Wildlife Trust

What is citizen science?

It's very hard to protect wildlife if you don't know much about it. To understand what a species needs, we have to gather a lot of information about things such as its population, habitat choices and behaviour. Even more importantly, we have to monitor how these things change over time, in order to spot worrying trends and identify issues. The more information we have, the better.

But that's a lot of data to gather and scientists alone would struggle to collect as much as they need. That's where citizen science projects come in. By working together with volunteers, scientists and conservationists can collect much more information about the species they are studying. Sometimes specialist knowledge is required, but often a basic grasp of wildlife is all you need to get involved - some projects offer training or identification guides to help you, too.

Citizen science projects are a great way to learn more about our wonderful wildlife, at the same time as helping to protect it. Here are some of the citizen science projects you could get involved in with The Wildlife Trusts.

National projects

Volunteers taking part in Shoresearch

Ulster Wildlife

Shoresearch

Become an amateur marine biologist by joining Shoresearch, our national citizen science survey of the intertidal shore. Learn to identify shoreline plants and wildlife and help us monitor this special habitat. 

Get involved

Regional projects

Wiltshire

Hedgehog Citizen Science

When did you last see a hedgehog? Help save Wiltshire's hedgehogs by recording your sightings. 

Get involved

© Jon Hawkins Surrey Hills Photography

Surrey

Hedgerow Heroes

Hedgerows are wonderful for wildlife, but these important habitats are declining through over-management and neglect. Become a Hedgerow Hero and learn to survey hedgerows in Surrey.

Get involved

Yellowhammer in a hawthorn hedgerow ©Chris Gomersall/2020VISION

Surrey

RiverSearch

Many species rely on healthy rivers, including water voles, otters and humans! Register as a RiverSearch volunteer and help survey Surrey's waterways.

Get involved

Water vole ©Terry Whittaker/2020VISION

Cumbria

iSpy a Hedgehog

Hedgehogs are disappearing from our towns and countryside and we need your help to track them down. Help reveal more about hedgehogs in Cumbria by reporting your sightings.

Get involved

Tom Marshall

Cheshire

Reptile reporting

Can you help us find the reptiles in Cheshire? Send in your sightings (photos are the most useful)

Get involved

Grass snake ©Danny Green/2020VISION

Devon

Devon Bat Survey

Want to know what bats are in your local area? Borrow a bat detector to find out as part of the Devon Bat Survey. 

Get involved

©Tom Marshall

Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Secrets of the Solent

Help reveal the Secrets of the Solent by taking part in intertidal surveys, or sharing sightings of marine mammals or seagrass in the region.

Get involved

Common Seal ©Jamie Hall