City Nature Challenge 2021 - London
Take a closer look at nature in London by joining cities around the world to find and identify wildlife on your doorstep between 30th April and 3rd May.
People in over 400 cities worldwide, including 13 others in the UK, will be finding, and recording wildlife in a four-day period. Anyone can join in the challenge, wherever you are in Greater London.
City Nature Challenge is a BioBlitz event, where people attempt to find, identify, and record living things within an area, in a set time. Look for nature in your garden or home and help us record as much wildlife as you can within Government Coronavirus (COVID‑19) rules - the information collected will create a valuable snapshot of London’s biodiversity.
City Nature Challenge: London is being led by the Museum in partnership with the Royal Parks, University College London, the Field Studies Council, the Linnean Society, Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, the London Environmental Educators Forum and London Social Farms and Gardens.
At a glance
Discover wildlife in London and help scientists understand more about urban nature.
Type of activity: Outdoors
Who can take part? Everyone
When? Friday 30 April - Monday 3 May 2021
Where? Anywhere in Greater London
How long will it take? About two minutes per observation
How to take part
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 guidelines, explore nature in and around your home, anywhere in the UK.
- Snap it
Take a picture: of wild plants, animals, or fungi that you find. If they are not wild, for example domestic animals or planted flowers, be sure to 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 www.inaturalist.org.
Tallying the results
Between 4-9 May 2021 everyone's observations are identified and counted. You can see how many wildlife observations have been recorded on the City Nature Challenge 2021: London project page (or check out results from other UK cities taking part).
You can help to identify other people’s wildlife observations and learn more as others identify your wildlife observations.
The worldwide competition results will be revealed at www.citynaturechallenge.org on Monday 10 May 2021.
Ideas for activities
Need more inspiration on finding and recording nature in London? Here are some ideas:
- Key species
There are six species we'd particularly like you to keep a look out for, to help scientists understand more about them. Download the Species to Spot guide (PDF 330KB) for more info, or read more about the species in our blogpost.
- Try a garden birdwatch
The RSPB has a guide to the most common garden birds.
- Go on a bug hunt
This video by Mission Invertebrate has great tips to find minibeasts even if you do not have access to a garden or park. The free OPAL Invertebrate Identification Guide (PDF 3 MB) can help you identify some of the invertebrates you find.
- Explore nature near you
Photograph all the plants, animals, and other living things living wild near you and upload them to iNaturalist. No access to a garden or park? Do not worry - plants growing in cracks in the pavement, and mosses and lichens growing on walls and roofs all count!
- Look for nature in your home
Nature can be found indoors too! See what spiders you can find in your home using the Natural History Museum guide to spiders in your home.
City Nature Challenge 2021 around the UK
Fourteen UK city regions are collaborating with 400+ cities across the world to record wildlife from 30 April – 3 May but you can join the challenge wherever you are in the UK by using iNaturalist to record any wildlife you see.
- More information, resources, and ideas for activities for City Nature Challenge can be found at: www.citynaturechallenge.org.uk and www.citynaturechallenge.org.
- You can also email us at: LEARNCitSci@nhm.ac.uk or follow us on twitter for updates @NHM_CitSci
- And you can get updates on the event and find out the results on our blog.
City Nature Challenge is organised by: