Take the City Nature Challenge! | Citizen Science

The City Nature Challenge returns to London for a fourth year! 

Over the last year many of us have had the chance to explore our local areas like never before. What have you spotted on your daily walks? Have you seen plants popping up in unexpected places, or is there a particular tree that you have watched transform through the seasons, or an unusual insect you have observed in your nearest park? 

Whatever it is, we want you to share what you have seen and join this year’s City Nature Challenge. 

London landscape with City Nature Challenge logo and information on when it runs: April 30 - May 3 2021 (photographing nature) and May 4 - May 9 2021 (identifying finds)

The City Nature Challenge is a global event organised by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California Academy of Sciences. More than 400 cities, including 14 in the UK, will be taking part between 30 April and 3 May 2021. Over the four days of the challenge, we will be coming together to share observations of the nature all around us, using iNaturalist.

You do not have to be an expert or even know the name of the species you have seen. Just follow these steps to take part: 

iNaturalist green bird logo with text: download iNaturalist - download the free app from your app store.
Magnifying glass icon with text: see it, find any wild plant, animal, or fungi
Camera icon with text: snap it, take a photo
Mobile phone icon with text: share it, share your photo on the iNaturalist app

All you need to get started is a smartphone with the FREE iNaturalist app downloaded, or a camera to take photos of what you see and upload to the website later. You can download a guide (PDF 221KB) to using the app. 

See it 
Find nature: between 30 April and 3 May 2021, within Government COVID-19 guidelines, explore nature in and around your home, anywhere in the UK. 

Snap it 
Take a picture: of wild plants, animals, fungi, or any other living things that you find. If they are not wild, for example domestic animals or planted flowers, please mark them as captive/cultivated. 

Share it 
Share your observations: record what you find by uploading a picture (with location) onto the iNaturalist app or https://uk.inaturalist.org 

Tallying the results
Between 4-9 May 2021 experts and fellow observers will be reviewing the information submitted so you can check back in and find out more about the things you have spotted. You can see how many observations have been recorded on the City Nature Challenge 2021: London project page (or check out results from other UK cities taking part). 

The worldwide results will be revealed at www.citynaturechallenge.org on Monday 10 May 2021. 

Benefits to being involved
Taking part in nature activities is good for you! Aside from the physical benefits of getting out and about there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that immersing ourselves in the natural world improves mental health and wellbeing too. 

You will contribute to a global initiative to map the nature flourishing within urban areas, supporting everything from conservation work to scientific research projects and land management. 

Not in one of the competition cities? That’s fine too. You can still download the app and take part. Although your observations won’t be counted in the challenge competition you will be making a valuable contribution to the global study of nature and you can see your data points appear on the UK Challenge map

Can’t wait till City Nature Challenge weekend? Have a look what is being found in London right now on iNaturalist: 

More information, resources, and ideas for activities for City Nature Challenge can be found on the Natural History Museum webpage and www.citynaturechallenge.org.uk.

Share your discoveries on social media and follow #CityNatureChallengeLondon  or #CityNatureChallenge for news from London and cities around the globe or follow us on Twitter for updates @NHM_CitSci.

We look forward to seeing what you find!

Logos of organisers: City Nature Challenge is organised by California Academy of Sciences and Natural History Museum Los Angeles County.

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