People in green space

National Surveys suitable for community groups

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Organisation(s) Detail Training, Equipment and Entry LEVEL

Open Air Laboratories (OPAL)

Bug Count - Record bugs in any area and look out for the six species quest bugs in particular. Recordings can be uploaded online anonymously, by logging in, or by posting the findings. You can use a postcode, nearest town or by selecting an area on the map to locate findings. You can download the field notbook, pocket ID guide and species quest sheet to use while out.

No training needed/Download field notebook, pocket ID guide and species quest sheet/Beginner

Soil and Earthworm Survey - Earthworms are extremely important and play a vital role in recycling plant nutrients and aerating the soil. By taking part in this survey you'll help improve our knowledge of earthworms and the soils they live in - something we know surprisingly little about. You can download the field notebook, pocket ID guide and species quest sheet to use while out.

No training needed/Download field notebook, pocket ID guide and species quest sheet/Beginner

Air Survey - We can learn much about air quality from the species that live nearby. The OPAL air survey is studying lichens found on trees and also looking for tar spot fungus on sycamore leaves. Both can tell us a great deal about local air quality. You can download the field notebook, pocket ID guide and species quest sheet to use while out.

No training needed/Download field notebook/pocket ID guide and species quest sheet/Beginner

New Zealand Flatworm Survey - look for the New Zealand Flatworm in your local patch to see how their numbers are affecting our native earthworms.

No training needed/Download field notebook, pocket ID guide and species quest sheet/Beginner

Biodiversity Survey - Survey 3 metre sections of hedgerow and count invertebrate and specific plant species present. April to November

Download field notebook, pocket ID guide and species quest sheet/Beginner

Tree Health Survey - Record common native tree pests and diseases between May and September.

No training needed/Download field notebook, pocket ID guide and species quest sheet/Beginner

Water Survey - The OPAL Water Survey is an exiting experiment that evryone can take part in. learn about water health by looking at freshwater invertebrates, water clarity and PH levels. You can download the field notebook, pocket ID guide and species quest sheet to use while out.

No training needed/Download field notebook, pocket ID guide and species quest sheet/Beginner

British Hedgehog Preservation Society and People's Trust for Endangered Species

Hibernation Survey - Record any sightings of hedgehogs when out. Recordings to be logged by website ONLY and would prefer to have a grid reference but postcode/nearest town or county will do. Will need a login to upload sightings onto website.

No training needed/Notebook, pen, GPS/Beginner

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Big Garden Birdwatch - Record the highest number of each species of bird seen in one hour. This can be done in a garden or at the park. This is an annual survey and is only carried out on one weekend in January. Results are submitted online ONLY but can download a help sheet to use while recording and then upload findings online. Possibly need to become a member to upload data. No training needed/Download help sheet (or use a notebook), pen/Beginner
Various bird surveys - Various projects that collect data from birdwatchers, bird recorders, county bird clubs and national datasets that target bird species or habitat management for birds of conservation concern. No training needed/Download help sheet (or use a notebook), pen/Beginner
Shorewatch Shorewatch - With thousands of archaeological sites at risk from erosion around Scotland's coast, Shorewatch aims to get as much information as possible on the sites before it is too late.  Online instructions/Simple recording and reporting tool. Recording sheet that prompts you for all the information necessary to make an archaeological record about the sites that you find/Beginner
Woodland Trust (Scotland) Seasonal Packs - Free packs available from: http://www.naturedetectives.org.uk/packs/play which gives a list of activities such as nest challenge, texture trail etc that can be done at home or at the park. Great for beginners and children to get involved in nature and perhaps invoke some to become recorders. No training needed/Packs are emailed then can be printed out/Beginner
Ancient Tree Hunt - Involves people in finding and mapping all the fat, old trees across the UK to become part of the only living archive of ancient, veteran and notable trees. No training needed/Download help sheet (or use a notebook), pen/Beginner
Marine Conservation Society (MSC) Jellyfish Survey - Record jellyfish that have become stranded on beaches. Recordings can be uploaded online without registration or by post. Can also download Jellyfish identification guide to help and email pictures to peter@mcsuk.org if unsure. No training needed/Download jellyfish identification guide, notebook, pen/ Comfortable
Alien Species - Working with MarLIN (the Marine life Information Network at the Marine Biological Association) to record invasive non-native species. Record any seen on beaches using the Marine Non-native Species ID Guide which can be downloaded. Results are to be uploaded online at http://www.marlin.ac.uk/rml.php but must log in first. No training needed/Download marine non-native species guide, notebook, pen/Comfortable
UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) Report Standings - Report any strandings of whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans), marine turtles and basking sharks that strand around the UK coastline. To report a sighting for live strandings contact SSPCA on 0131 3390111 and for dead strandings contact SAC Veterinary Services on 01463 243030 or 07979 245893 (out of hours). No training needed/Beginner
Galaxy Zoo Galaxy Studies - The aim of Galaxy Zoo is for the public to study the shape and form of the galaxies photographed by the Hubble telescope and to classify them. No training needed/All online/Beginner
Natural History Museum

Big Seaweed Search - Explore the UK coastline and record the living seaweeds you find to help us monitor the effects of climate change and invasive species.

No training needed/Survey sheet, pen, ID sheets to help/Beginner

Orchid Observers - Record orchids growing in your local areas by going on a walk and photographing them. Send your results into the Natural History Museum.

No training needed/Camera, recording sheet, GPS, pen etc/Beginner

British Geological Survey (BGS) British Geological Survey - The BGS website has 8 surveys that the public can input their data into; including App based mobile surveys and historic photograph requests. No training needed - Online instructions/Simple recording and reporting tool/Beginner
The Marine Biological Association of the UK Sealife Survey - Record sightings of marine life. Recordings are uploaded online although login is needed. Records are sent to the NBN Gateway and a recording guide is available. No training needed/Notebook, pen etc/Beginner
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust BeeWalk - Help us monitor long-term changes in bumblebee populations. A familiarity with the common garden species is required. Establish a 1-2km transect along your favourite walk where you are likely to see bumblebees and then survey this once per month between March and October. Guidelines are made available once you register your interest by emailing beewalk@bumblebeeconservation.org For details of training courses go to the BBCT events page http://bumblebeeconservation.org/get-involved/events-calendar/Camera, recording sheet, GPS, pen etc/Beginner
Bee Watch - Schools specific bumblebee survey If you love digital photography and wish to learn more about bumblebees then please upload your bumblebee photos to BeeWatch. Share some basic information about the photo such as the date and location and in return we will teach you how to identify bumblebees yourself through an interactive tool. An expert will then send you feedback with the correct identification and some interesting information about that particular species. BeeWatch allows us to gather more valuable information about the distribution of our 24 species of bumblebee. No training needed/Camera, notebook, pen/Beginner
British Trust for Ornithology BirdTrack - Record birds seen in a site or sites of choice. Need to register to upload results. Need to read instructions which are available to download online. Enter location, time, date and check off species when filling in survey online. No training needed/Binoculars, notepad, pen etc/Beginner
Breeding Bird Survey - The survey involves two spring visits to a local 1km square, to count all the birds you see or hear while walking along two 1-km transects within the square. Each visit should take less than two hours, and it's recommend that you make a reconnaissance visit to set up or check the transect route and access, and complete a habitat recording form. You can download the instructions from the website. Need to contact the Regional Organiser to allocate the 1km BBS square. Advised to know common bird species though they do provide a number of 1 day (£45) and weekend (£180) training courses mainly on bird survey techniques/Binoculars, notepad, pen etc/Comfortable
Nest Record Scheme - Watch a single nest box in their garden or finding and monitoring nests in the wider countryside. Online guide to monitoring nests is available. Training courses are also available. 1 day (£10) and weekend (£40) courses available on how to find and monitor nests/notepad, pen etc/Comfortable
Amphibian and Reptile Conservation National Amphibian and Reptile Survey Scheme - Record the amphibians and reptiles in your area and join existing surveys. Training provided by volunteer groups/Simple recording and reporting tool/Beginner
Bat Conservation Trust Batwatch - Contact - Anne Youngman, Scottish Bat Officer, BCT, Unit 10, RFL House, Anderson Street, Dunblane, FK15 9AJ. Tel: 01786 822107 Email: ayoungman@bats.org.uk   No training needed/Simple online recording process and ID Sheets/Comfortable
Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society Cetacean and pinniped surveys - Contact Bridget Davies-Robertson on 01249 449500 or info@wdcs.org. For more information on volunteering with the WDCS. Training from WaDCS recommended/Field Training/Comfortable
Sea Search Sea Search Recording - Recording after a dive on an Observation form which requires the main habitat and seabed cover types, as well as the main species of marine life. More detailed recording can be done on a Survey form. Can download guidance notes on the Observation form and Survey form as well as the forms themselves. No training needed/Simple online recording process and ID Sheets/Beginner
NNSS (GB non-invasive species secretariat) Identification of non-native invasive species - Identification sheets of non-native invasive species available to download. A recording of observed INNS allows you to record what you've seen and where. No training needed/Simple online recording process and ID Sheets/Beginner
The Met Office Weather Observations Website - Recording rainfall and other meteorological phenomena around you. Either record your weather on the go through your smart phone or set your home/work/school up as an observation site recording rain, weather type, temperature and any other conditions you wish. Then see your reports alongside hundreds of others in your area. No training needed/Simple online recording process/Beginner
Buglife Bug Surveys - Take part in a wide variety of insect surveys including pollinator hoverflies and giant aphids surveys. Something there for everyone. No training needed but worth contacting Buglife for advice and information on training courses available/Simple online recording process and ID Sheets/Beginner

Butterfly Conservation

           

Butterfly Identifier - Record the butterflies you see around you with the butterfly identifier. Clear colour photos of the butterflies and a simple recording online form

Various butterfly and moth surveys - Lots of recording and monitoring of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) to get involved with! Visit the site to find a survey that suits you.

No training needed/Simple online recording process and ID Sheets/Beginner

No training needed/Simple online recording process and ID sheets/Beginner

iSpot iSpot - Not a survey but provides peer to peer review of photographs and description of specimens seen in the field. Gives rapid ID for unknown species and builds up your ability and knowledge to confidently spot things yourself. Mobile App is also available to turn your mobile phone into a tool for accessing information on the go. Online instructions/Simple ID and recording tool/Beginner
iRecord iRecord - Not a survey but provides a way of uploading multiple photographs and details of specimens seen in the field. Mobile App also available turns your mobile phone into a tool for recording on the go. Online instructions/Simple ID and recording tool/Comfortable
SCAPE Shorewatch - aims to save information about Scotland’s archaeological sites before they are lost to erosion. The website contains information on how to get involved and explains how to record archaeological sites. There are pages giving details of some of the current projects and others explaining why they are collecting the data, who it is for and where records will go. There are also forms and guidance notes to download to help you start your own recording project.  Online instructions/Simple ID and recording tool/Comfortable
ASHTAG Ash Tag - Provides a way of uploading photographs and details of evidence of Ash Dieback appearing on Ash trees around the country. A mobile phone app and a pc based tool allows for recording on the go. Online instructions/Simple ID and recording tool/Beginner
Clyde Forum Clyde Invasives project - Provides a way of uploading photographs and details of evidence of Invasive non Native Species (INNS) appearing in the busy ports and harbours on the Clyde. A danglebook is available with ID pictures as well as detailed pc based tools allows for ID on the go and upload at your leisure at home. Online instructions/Simple ID and recording tool/Comfortable
Phototrails Phototrails - Provides detailed accessibility information for trails throughout the UK. Each mapped trail combines photos of every potential hazard and details on surface, gradient, facilities etc so you can ensure the trail is suitable for you before you go. Allows user additions and reporting. Online instructions/Simple recording and reporting tool/Beginner
Scottish Wildlife Trust Squirrels Survey - Scottish Wildlife Trust is collecting information on the distribution of red and grey squirrels right across Scotland. This allows us not only to identify areas of importance where habitat management or grey squirrel control will benefit red squirrel populations, but also to understand natural changes in their populations. The data will be shared with local biological records centres and the national database of squirrel records. Please help by reporting sightings of red or grey squirrels where you see them.

Online instructions/Simple recording and reporting tool/Beginner

 

British Dragonfly Society Dragonfly Watch - Help the British Dragonfly Society by searching for dragonflies and submitting records of dragonflies and damselflies. Online instructions and training provided by volunteer groups/Simple recording and reporting tool/Beginner
Plantlife Scotland Flora Guardians - Allocated sites near to where you live in which you monitor a specific wild plant and its habitat on a regular basis. These include endangered 'Back from the brink' species and also non-native species such as Japanese knotweed. Download the enrolment form. Full training given by Plantlife/Beginner

Wild Knowledge

Wild Knowledge - This is not a survey but provides information on how to turn your mobile phone into a tool for accessing information on the go.

No training needed, online instructions/Simple recording tool/Beginner

FIDRA The Great Nurdle Hunt - Nurdles are plastic pellets used in the plastic making industry. Search your local beach to help see how far they are spreading in our environment. Online instructions/Simple recording tool and pot for collecting nurdles/Beginner