Want to expand your opportunities for biological recording? 

There are also many citizen science recording platforms you can use to make observations on a much wider range of species. 

What is citizen science?  

The aim of citizen science is to let people power – that’s you – collect data to help researchers learn more about our planet! With members of the public collecting data, it creates much larger data sets than could otherwise be achieved.   

What are the benefits of citizen science?  

Collaborating with others by using citizen science platforms has many benefits. By creating large data sets these biological records help researchers understand ecological changes that may be a result of climate change and help to identify where funds can be best used for conservation. Anyone can get involved, so it also helps people to have a greater understanding and appreciation of nature, whilst enjoying the outdoors and learning about new species! 

How can I get involved in citizen science?  

Nature’s Calendar 

Nature’s Calendar, run by the Woodland Trust, is a survey of phenological events – seasonal timing of when different tree species come into leaf, flower and fruit and when animal species build nests, mate and have young. There is a wide range of species and events to record, meaning it can be carried out in virtually every location and most times of year. So you know what to look out for, download the phenology calendar here. And for top tips on recording using Nature’s Calendar, take a look at How to record: a quick guide. You will need to register with an email address to submit a record.  


Any species observations not covered by Nature’s Calendar can be submitted to iRecord, which encourages people to become regular biological recorders. You can submit casual records without the need for a login or you can create an account (minimum age 13). This allows you to view a list of the records you have submitted and also compare your record to records for the same species/region etc. iRecord can also be downloaded as an app. 

Identifying species  

Need help identifying species for your biological recording? The Field Studies Council publish fold-out guides, which are stunningly illustrated, packed with facts and splash-proof making them perfect for heading outdoors. There are over 80 different titles to introduce all aspects of nature, from Bees to Woodland Plants. 

Visit our online shop to find out what is available.  

Preston Montford #ClimateEnquiry video on moth trapping 

The team at Preston Montford would like to recognise the following resources that helped inform their discussion.  

Rothamsted Insect Survey  

The State of Britain’s Larger Moths Report 2021  

National Moth Recording Scheme  

Macgregor, C.J., Thomas, C.D., Roy, D.B. et al. Climate-induced phenology shifts linked to range expansions in species with multiple reproductive cycles per year. Nat Commun 10, 4455 (2019).  

Preston Montford would also recommend the following website for further information.  

Butterfly Conservation monitoring and recording information  

UK Moths  

What’s flying tonight  

West Midland Moths  

See our other Over to You pages:

Over to You: Create Your Own Enquiry

Over to You: Nature-based Solutions

Over to You: Signs of Spring