Family counting wildlife in their garden, Big Garden Birdwatch

Do a wildlife survey

You don't have to be a scientist to help science!

There are lots of creatures that we need to keep a sharp eye on.

It's important for scientists to record the changing numbers of animals, as well as where they seem to be living. It's a very big job but you can help by giving them a hand!


There are so many kinds of wildlife that you can count, ranging from birds and bugs to butterflies, and so many organisations that need your help with their surveys.


We've listed a few here to get you started, including the RSPB's own Big Garden Birdwatch. Time to get counting!


Are you doing this activity as part of your Wild Challenge? Take a look at your progress and go for gold!

Did you know in the 2016 Big Garden Birdwatch, people like you counted a whopping 8,262,662 birds! The humble house sparrow was the most common, with around four appearing in each garden.


people have completed this activity

What you will need

Wildlife surveys are fairly easy and often require little more than sharp eyes and some patience. But here are a few other things that may come in handy:

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Magnifying glass and/or binoculars
  • Bird and animal ID guides
  • Scientists' white lab coat (optional)

Step-by-step guide

  1. Choose a survey that you'd like to help with. The Big Garden Birdwatch each January is a great place to start but here are some others you might like to try that can be done in gardens or wider green spaces:

    - Big Butterfly Count
    - Blooms For Bees 
    - Swift Survey

  2. Read the instructions very carefully and then follow them exactly. This is important - if everyone who takes part does this, we'll receive the most useful information. Don't worry if what you're being asked to do sounds a bit odd, the scientists know what they're doing!
  3. Send off your results as soon as you can
  4. Have fun. Then maybe join another survey!
  5. Don't forget to tell us when you have completed the activity! When you mark the activity as complete, you will be asked to upload a photo, drawing, painting or a piece of writing talking about your experience to help earn your award.

Completing the activity

Use the 'Mark as complete' button at the top of this page to tell us you've completed your activity. You'll need to show us what you did by uploading a photo of what you saw or your family on the look out! Alternatively, draw or paint what you saw or upload a piece of writing talking about your experience.

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