Family counting wildlife in their garden, Big Garden Birdwatch

Do a wildlife survey

We can all help science!

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.

There are so many kinds of wildlife that you can count, ranging from birds to bugs and 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? Find out how you are progressing – are you getting closer to gold?

Did you know: in the 2020 Big Garden Birdwatch, people like you counted a whopping 7,833,350 birds! The humble house sparrow was the most common, although the numbers of these decreased by 53% between 1979 and 2020.


people have completed this activity

What you will need

Wildlife surveys are fairly easy and are a great way to develop your patience as well as your observation and identification skills. Here are a few things that may come in handy:

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Magnifying glass and/or binoculars
  • Bird and animal ID guides
  • Appropriate clothing for the weather

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 seems 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 description of 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 description of your experience.

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