Do a wildlife survey

You don't have to be a scientist to do a wildlife survey. Counting the insects, birds and other critters you see is great fun and can really help us by giving an insight into the state of nature.

A child sat on their parent's lap, looking out of French garden doors and filling in a Big Garden Birdwatch activity sheet.

Recording the numbers and locations of plants, insects and animals is so important in our fight to protect wildlife. It's a huge job, so any help you can give goes a long way. 

Whether you're a beginner or an expert, there’s a wildlife survey for everyone. Enjoy!

Estimated time: 1-2 hours Season: All year Skill level: Not too tricky


There are bound to be lots of animals around your home or school.

Doing a wildlife survey is a great way to get to know the wildlife in your area.

Easy wildlife surveys

There are lots of wildlife surveys you can take part in. Whether you just want to look out of your window or fancy travelling further afield, there’s plenty to keep an eye out for.

Big Garden Birdwatch

There's our very own RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, which runs in January each year. Perfect for the family or as a calming solo activity. If you’ve been taking steps to attract birds to your garden, looking out for your feathered visitors is really satisfying.

Are you a teacher?

A survey is a great way to help pupils get to know the wildlife on school grounds.

Think about how your pupils can get the most from this activity. You could use it as the basis of a creative writing task.

Here are some prompts to help with learning:

  • How did you feel about staying still, silent, and focused for longer than you are used to? Was it tricky?
  • Have you spotted anything you wouldn't normally have noticed?
  • What do you think the day-to-day life of the wildlife you have spotted would be like?

We also run the RSPB Big School’s Birdwatch every January. Find out more here.

Other wildlife surveys

Ready to take on another survey? Here are some other popular wildlife surveys you might like to try. These can all be done in gardens or wider green spaces:

Do your own wildlife survey

You can also collect information about any species you like. Spotted lots of frogs and toads or lizards in your garden? Do your own DIY wildlife survey.

You can do a survey in your garden, or even get out and discover parts of your local area you might never have visited before.

An adult and two children wearing warm winter clothing in front of a frosty greenhouse, one child is looking through binoculars and the other is looking to where the adult is pointing.
Partnering with

The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International.More