National Citizen Science Surveys

This page lists several citizen science projects particularly relevant to gardeners.  These projects are really important in understanding the rapidly changing ecosystems around us.  Many of the changes being monitored, such as blossom and pollinator timing, may have profound effects on food supplies.  Other projects are monitoring biodiversity.

Your contribution to these projects is significant.

To report non-native species, please see the Local Non-Native Species Survey page.

Bird Flu Monitoring

Added May 2024

If you find a dead bird, please report it to DEFRA (APHA) using the online Government form.  

An interactive map of reports is also available.

May 2024 Earthworm Monitoring

The soil association is conductin a citizen science project this moth to find out the state of our worm popuations.  "Healthy soils have lots of worms. Take part in a Worm Hunt and discover more about the incredible creatures beneath your feet! Report your findings to help us understand the state of UK soils"   For more information and to take part visit The Soil Association.

Instruction: pick a one metre square area and then get the worms to come to the surface either by soaking the ground, stamping, or vibrating a digging fork.  Count the worms and try and identify if they are:

Enter your resyults in section 2 of the Worm Hunt webpage

The UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme (PoMS)

Pollinating insects play a vital role in our environment, ensuring that many of our crops and wild plants are able to set seed and produce fruit. We need to know how pollinator populations are changing, and with your help we are gathering data on a wide range of flower-visiting insects.

There are two types of activities:

See the PoMS website for more information.

Identifying Pollinators

These separate resources can help with identifying pollinator species:

A honey bee (Apis sp.)

A marmalade hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus)

FruitWatch

A new citizen science initiative commencing Spring 2022

Fruit trees are highly dependent on insect pollination to produce fruit, and climate change is impacting both the timing of fruit tree flowering and pollinator flight, which could reduce pollination and fruit production. Reading University need your help to understand how fruit trees are changing flowering dates across the UK, and with our help are gathering data on four common fruits, Apple, Pear, Plum (including Damson and Greengage), and Cherry.

FruitWatch Website

Garden Wildlife Health

The is a citizen science project run collaboratively by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Froglife and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) which aims to monitor the health of, and identify disease threats to, British wildlife.

The project is focussed on garden birds, amphibians, reptiles and hedgehogs, and relies on the public submitting reports of sick or dead wildlife.

Plant Alert

Plant Alert is a citizen science project for gardeners.  

Invasive non-native plants are causing major problems for native biodiversity, ecosystems, infrastructure, the built environment and human health. The majority of invasive plants have been initially introduced as ornamental garden plants and then spread from gardens into the wider environment. To prevent more species becoming invasive, gardeners can contribute by reporting early signs of invasiveness of ornamental plants in gardens.

Only record species where it is entirely safe and legal to do so.  Do not take personal risks or trespass on private land for the sake of these surveys. The Upper Nar Gardeners group does not accept any liability or responsibility for the wellbeing of surveyors.

If there are any other citizen science projects that you think should be added to this page, or you spot any errors please contact Jeff.