There are hundreds of ways to get involved and thousands of projects out there. Here are just a few ideas to get you started. Remember that our Citizen Science blog regularly posts new ideas and the Scottish Environment website has a project finder tool to help you.
Check out our citizen science resources
We have produced a range of resources with further information on everything from integrating Citizen Science with accredited awards, to a Teachers’ Toolkit.
Working with existing projects
Close to you, there will be a Local Nature Reserve, managed through the Local Authority Ranger Service or an area of parkland, woods, moorland or a stretch of river or coast managed by a charity such as the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust or RSPB. A map of Local Nature Reserves and contacts can be found here.
You could get involved with wildlife recording activities there or monitoring of the physical environment, for example, monitoring of rainfall with SEPA, river levels through Scottish Flood Forum and local weather, through programmes such as the Met Office Weather Observation Website.
Check out our Scotland Counts project
TCV play a key role in the Scotland Counts project which promotes engagement with Citizen Science throughout Scotland. We can offer you a custom session to your school or community group, provide webinars and training courses and much more.
Our latest Citizen Science project HogWatch Scoland, aims to monitor and map hedgehog populations in Glasgow and the West of Scotland by conducting torchlight surveys, a variety of events and training courses and implementing hedgehog friendly changes in the landscape.
Dead Good Deadwood Survey
Deadwood plays a big part in nutrient recycling and carbon storage, and as an important micro-habitat for a wide range of animals, plants and fungi. To find out if the deadwood in your area is dead good, complete our Dead Good Deadwood Survey
Naturehood, Earthwatch Europe – Community Wildlife Project
Our partnership project with Earthwatch Europe encourages positive action for wildlife in local areas. TCV Scotland are currently championing the Naturehood project in Glasgow.
Naturehood is a community project from Earthwatch Europe, working to reverse wildlife decline. It works best when communities work together to create thriving habitats for wildlife. A small, concentrated area of wildlife-friendly space has much more impact than separate spaces split across the country. Getting your neighbours, your street and your whole neighbourhood to act together is the best way to support your local wildlife. Naturehood and TCV support local groups to get started with a project focused on biodiversity with quick guides, tailored resources and monthly meetings for peer-learning and deep dives in to different topics, to help share ideas and insight between groups.
You can act and record 9 key actions for wildlife now and take part in citizen science garden surveys throughout the year. The busy community on the Naturehood Facebook is a great source of inspiration.
MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research- What Makes Viruses Tick?
Our latest Citizen Science project for 2021. TCV are co-designing this citizen science project for monitoring tick populations across Scotland and analysis of tick-borne viruses transmission with the MRS- University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research. We are creating educational resources for schools and families, running workshops, taking part in Glasgow Science Festival and will be helping communities collect data to aid scientists in their study of tick populations across Scotland. Find out more here.
Working with local Biological Record Centres
Local Biological Records Centres are the focal point for recording local wildlife and regularly run training and surveys that locals can join in with. Their staff are extremely experienced and provide support to submit records and develop identification skills. You can find your local record centre here.
OPAL (Open Air Laboratories)
TCV worked closely with the OPAL (Open Air Laboratories) project. OPAL has now completed it’s active period but has loads of great surveys and resources to get you involved with Citizen Science.
National Surveys for you to try
Many conservation charities have established UK-wide Citizen Science surveys that the public is encouraged to participate in. Online support, identification guides and resources are available and many of these charities hold local training courses organised through their network of volunteers and supporters that can help individuals or groups build confidence in their recording abilities.