Survey calendar for beginners

If you want to help track the wildlife in your city’s green areas, you can use our calendar to find easy surveys that suit your schedule and skill level.

You can join many UK monitoring schemes that welcome your observations. Most of them offer training and guidance for beginners or learners.

Download the full calendar, or browse the highlights below.

Nature Recording Hub

Discover how to record the wildlife in your urban environment.

Download calendar

You can download the whole calendar of activities, divided up by month and category.

All year round activities - highlights

🐦🐸 🌼🍄🐝🌳General

Nature's Calendar (Woodland Trust)
Record a variety of events in nature to track the impacts of climate change and weather on our wildlife

🦔 Mammals

Living with Mammals (People's Trust for Endangered Species)
Record mammals, and their tracks and signs, you see in urban areas

🐦 Birds

Garden BirdWatch (British Trust for Ornithology)

Record weekly lists of the birds which visit your garden all year round

🦋 Insects

Garden Butterfly Survey (Butterfly Conservation)
Submit butterfly records from your garden, community green space, allotment or balcony

🌿 Marine

The Big Seaweed Search (Natural History Museum/Marine Conservation Society)
Search for 14 seaweed species at any UK seashore, any time of the year

🦎 Reptile

Garden Dragon Watch (Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust)
A quick and easy survey for reptiles in your garden

Spring highlights

🦇 Sunset Survey

Bat Conservation Trust

Spend an hour at dusk or dawn looking for bats and other nocturnal wildlife

Duration: April - October

🐦 Nesting Neighbours

British Trust for Ornithology

Monitor active birds' nests in your garden

Duration: February - September

🐸 PondNet Common Toad and Frog surveys

Freshwater Habitats Trust

Visit each pond in a 1km square in March or April to see if frogs, toads and their spawn are present

Duration: March - April

Summer highlights

🔵 DragonflyWatch

British Dragonfly Society

Beginners' guide to recording dragonflies

Duration: May - September

🐦 Swift Mapper


Report sightings of swifts and nest sites

Duration: May - July

🦋 FIT Counts: Monitor Pollinators

UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme

Carry out a 10 minute count of the number of pollinators visiting a flower from a list of 14 target flowers

Duration: April - September

🔵 Big Pond Dip

Freshwater Habitats Trust

A simple survey which can be done every year to monitor the health of your pond

Duration: May - August

Autumn highlights

🦎 General Reptile Surveys


A PDF booklet with guidance for reptile surveys which can be undertaken anywhere with suitable habitat, such as in a garden or allotment

Duration: March - October

🔵 Willow Emerald Watch

British Dragonfly Society

Track the spread of this damselfly across the UK

Duration: July - November

🍃 The Great British Hedgerow Survey

People's Trust for Endangered Species

Assess the structural and habitat quality of hedgerows

Duration: April - October

🐾 National Harvest Mouse Survey

The Mammal Society

Help survey for harvest mouse nests

Duration: October - March

Winter highlights

🐦 Big Garden Birdwatch


Spend one hour recording the birds in your garden or local park on a specific weekend

Duration: One weekend in January

🐾 National Harvest Mouse Survey

The Mammal Society

Help survey for harvest mouse nests

Duration: October - March

🌼 New Year Plant Hunt

Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland

A survey to see what plants are flowering over the New Year

Duration: Four days over the New Year

🐸 National Amphibian Survey - Frogs and Toads

Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust

Carry out four visits of ponds to look for common frogs, toads and their spawn

Duration: January - April

Other collections of surveys and schemes