Martin Hughes-Games’ wildlife challenge

Martin Hughes-Games Give science a helping hand by reporting the wildlife you see, says Martin Hughes-Games

If you're really interested in UK wildlife, why not help gather important scientific data by taking part in citizen science projects?

These surveys are fun to do but have a serious purpose as well.

You get detailed instructions and there are apps you can download for help and best of all - for me at least - some of them have fantastic downloadable colour identification guides.

We have featured the Garden BioBlitz and The Big Butterfly Count on Springwatch but there are loads more to choose from.

You can make your data count, join us and take action now.

Make a to do list of citizen science projects to take part in.

Start Quote

These surveys are fun to do but have a serious purpose as well”

End Quote Martin Hughes-Games, presenter on Springwatch
Bioblitz it!

Take part in the Garden BioBlitz this weekend!

Measure out a square (1m square or 0.5m square) and list all the things you find inside - leaves, insects, soil, twigs, plants - you get the idea.

Choose a patch with a few large stones, there could be slugs, woodlice or worms underneath.

You'll be amazed how long the list is by the time you've finished.

Take part in an official survey

Lots of wildlife organisations run surveys that need your help. Here's how you can be a citizen scientist - with a great list of wildlife surveys that you can take part in.

Did you know?

The Natural History Museum in London is home to the world's largest and most important natural history collections, with over 70 million specimens

These surveys provide scientists with information to support their research that they would find difficult to collect on their own.

Their research can help us understand a range of issues such as threats to UK wildlife and climate change.

There will be a survey that fits in with your interests and the amount of time you have to spare, whether it's looking at amphibians in a pond for an afternoon at your local park or keeping track of migrating birds over the summer.

And if you can't tell what you're surveying, we have in depth information about a host of animals and plants in the UK on the BBC Nature website.

There are pictures and videos of 47 mammals that live in our country and 134 British birds, including geese, raptors, songbirds and seabirds.

Download your own copy of the Summer of Wildlife Handbook

PDF download Summer of Wildlife Handbook [pdf][15.9MB]

Most computers will open PDF documents automatically, but you may need Adobe Reader

We also have a selection of identification guides, to help you recognise the animals you've spotted: try our ID guide to amphibians, or ID guide to reptiles.

We can help you tell birds of prey apart, or help you distinguish your swallows, swifts and martins and you can visit the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) for more tips on spotting birds, or use iSpot, an online community of experts that can help you identify the wildlife you've seen.

Finally, be sure to share any photographs you take on the BBC Summer of Wildlife Flickr group. As part of our See it, Snap it, Share it challenge, we're hoping to reach 100,000 photographs that document the state of our UK wildlife in the summer of 2013.

All summer we'll be hosting an online conversation around the Summer of Wildlife. Follow BBC Nature on Facebook and Twitter @BBCNature. Join in and share your own Summer of Wildlife experiences and get the latest news and updates about the wildlife near you.

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