Wildlife surveys for kids

Children and adult observing a pond

A range of wildlife surveys and activities which are great to do with kids in a variety of settings and seasons.

Download the full list (PDF 1.9MB), or browse the highlights below.

Nature Recording Hub

Discover how to record the wildlife in your urban environment.

Surveys and ID guides for kids

Download the full list of surveys and ID guides for kids

Highlighted activities and guides

🦇 Sunset Survey

Bat Conservation Trust

Spend an hour at dusk or dawn looking for bats and other nocturnal wildlife - in your garden, from your balcony or walking around your local area.

The survey can be done any time between April and October. You can submit your results online or by post.

Equipment: The survey form, pen, torch and a watch/phone.

🐛 How to make a pitfall trap to catch insects and other minibeasts

Natural History Museum

Learn how to make a pitfall trap to catch insects and other invertebrates to identify.

Equipment: A trowel, a plastic cup or yoghurt pot and a tray to put your invertebrates in whilst you identify them.

🐌 Invertebrates guide


This identification chart covers insects, arachnids, molluscs, myriapods and crustaceans you are likely to find.

Equipment: A magnifyer and a glass jar would be useful.

🍃 Hedgerow biodiversity survey


A guide to surveying hedgerows with survey forms included. The survey involves looking at the structure and management of the hedge, the shrubs and invertebrates present, and any other signs of wildlife using the hedgerow.

Equipment: ID guides, tape measure, magnifier and a pale collecting container (such as a white tray or a dustpan and brush). A pooter and spy pot are optional.

🌳 Tree health survey


The survey includes three activities: identifying and assessing general tree characteristics; recording the presence of any pests and diseases on oak, horse chestnut and ash trees; and recording six of the most serious pests and disease threats.

Equipment: The survey booklet, tape measure and a magnifying glass.

🕳️ Earthworm watch resources

Natural History Museum and Earthwatch Institute 

Understand more about earthworms in your local green spaces. The data collection for this citizen science project has ended, but the website still contains useful resources and activities.

The survey is best done in spring or autumn, which is when earthworms are most active.

Equipment: The survey pack, a spade or trowel, 2 x 500ml bottles of mustard water, clean water, large plastic bag, stopwatch, two containers to store worms in (eg yoghurt pots), 15ml vinegar.

Other collections of surveys and schemes

More ideas for young people from our website

Outdoor activities for kids

Try these no-preparation activities, perfect for small or large spaces

Youth Worker Toolkit

This free downloadable toolkit lists activities and ideas that you can use with young people to explore nature in cities.