Community science

A cub scout and an adult taking part in a wildlife survey

Answering the big science questions around climate change and the diversity of life requires lots of data, and our researchers can't gather this alone. You can help.

Our community science projects invite you to actively contribute to the Museum's science research. By recording observations of wildlife, collecting samples, or transcribing handwritten records, you can unlock the potential of our collections and gather vital data for our scientists, helping them to better understand the natural world.

Anyone can take part - you don’t need special skills or training as we tell you everything you need to know to get involved. It’s a fun, free way to enjoy nature while doing a little bit of good in the world.

Thousands of people across the country take part in our crowdsourced science projects. Why not join in?

Big Seaweed Search

Monitor the effects of environmental change on Britain's sealife by exploring the seashore and recording the seaweeds that you find there.

City Nature Challenge 2023

Take part in the annual four-day global nature hunt.

28 April - 1 May

Mitten Crab Watch

Record any sightings of the Chinese mitten crab, an invasive species, that you see in UK waterways. 

UK whale and dolphin strandings

Report stranded whales, dolphins and porpoises to support UK marine mammal research.

Searching for colourful starfish

Divers and snorkellers out in the Indian and Pacific Oceans can help look for colourful Linckia laevigata starfish

Other UK monitoring and reporting schemes

Many organisiations run schemes that people can contribute their time and observations to. Some are suitable for the complete beginner, others require a bit more experience or time commitment.


Resources for practitioners


Our guides help groups and individuals to develop their own citizen science projects, as well as BioBlitz wildlife recording events:


Scratchpads are websites that allow you to upload taxonomic information and species distribution maps, and set up blogs and forums. They are perfect for making online atlases for recording schemes or citizen science projects. Find out how to create your own website for free.

Identify nature

Found an animal, plant or fossil that you'd like to identify? Get help from our guides and apps, or ask Museum experts for advice.

Do your bit for nature

Small actions can make a big difference.

Here's how you can help protect biodiversity.