How to Help the Environment Right Now Through Citizen Science

July 18, 2022

Getting involved in citizen science projects is not only a fun way to connect with nature and new people, but it also contributes to conservation efforts and can help us to cope with eco-anxiety. And the best part is that anyone and everyone can get involved! You don’t need any qualifications or experience, just an enthusiasm for nature and willingness to get stuck in and follow guidelines from academics or environmental organisations. You can take part solo or in a group, make it work around your schedule, and as there are countless projects to choose from it's easy to find the perfect project to suit your interests.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

THE BIG SEAWEED SEARCH with the Marine Conservation Society

Seaweed provides energy and nutrients for wildlife, stores carbon and helps to mitigate the effects of climate change. But, as climate impacts intensify, the distribution of seaweed species is changing. The Marine Conservation Society are calling on the public to help them to better understand these changes by surveying coastlines between 23rd and 31st July, taking pictures of the seaweed species you find along the way. For the full details and online training sessions, visit them here.


THE BIG MICROPLASTIC SURVEY with the Marine Conservation Society

Microplastics are teeny tiny pieces of plastic, which despite being small are having a huge impact on our oceans and marine species. Animals can mistake them for food which can impact their feeding behaviour, growth and reproduction, and can be deadly. To better understand the prevalence of microplastics and influence policy, the Marine Conservation Society are asking us to head to the beach to carry out a microplastic survey. Click here for the guidelines to get involved.


THE BIG BUTTERFLY COUNT with Butterfly Conservation

Counting butterflies for the Big Butterfly Count and sharing your results helps scientists to understand changes in butterfly populations so work can be done to save them from extinction. Butterflies are also an indicator species as they react very quickly to environmental changes, so this data can also help conservationists to predict how other species may be impacted. All you need to do is count the butterflies that you see for 15 minutes any time between the 15th July and 7th August. You can count from wherever you like, from fields and forests to parks and playgrounds. Click here for the full guidelines and how to submit records.



Our gardens can be havens for nature, providing food, water, and places to rest and nest. The Wildlife Trust are curious to learn how welcoming UK gardens are for wildlife so that they can uncover which areas are most in need of more quality space for nature. You can help them by filling in their survey, and they will thank you with a score letting you know how wild your garden is and free gardening guides. Click here to find out more!


NATURE’S CALENDAR with the Woodland Trust

Nature's Calendar aims to monitor the effects of weather and climate change on wildlife. Record your sightings and observations of specific species, but make sure to check how often you need to do a follow up as it varies between species. Click here for the full instructions and how to submit your records.

NESTING NEIGHBOURS with the British Trust for Ornithology

Are you lucky enough to have birds nesting in your garden? If so, the BTO want to know about it! By monitoring nests through the breeding season, you can help them to better understand breeding success and what factors could be preventing successful outcomes. Click here for more information.

BUGS MATTER with the Kent Wildlife Trust and Buglife

To investigate the health of insect populations in the UK, the Kent Wildlife Trust and Buglife are asking drivers to measure bug splats! It's as simple as wiping your car's number plate before your journey, and counting the number of insects splatted within the 'splatometer' grid (which you can request to receive in the post or print at home). Then, snap a photo and submit it online with your count! Get the full instructions here.

FEATHER COLLECTION with the British Trust for Ornithology 


Enjoy taking part in citizen science projects from the comfort of your own home on Zooniverse where there are countless projects to choose from. You can assist NASA Scientists in identifying cloud type and cover, count penguins and their chicks and eggs so conservationists can better understand their lives, examine underwater photos of beluga whales, or transcribe historical records of shore birds to name a few! Click here to find the perfect project for you.


You can even do your own thing and submit sightings of any wildlife you see while out and about, whether that be during your commute to work or on a walk in the woods. There are many different platforms that you can use to submit your record such as iRecord or eBird. We have an article here all about biological recording where you can find out more!

Header image by Neil Fedorowycz via Unsplash

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