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Look Wild – log your wildlife sightings

  • National Parks UK-wide citizen science project
  • Join thousands of active contributors to UK nature records
  • A great way to enhance nature connectedness to boost mental health.

The UK’s 15 National Parks established Look Wild so that people can learn more about the wildlife on their doorstep or when visiting National Parks can map and record the different species of plants and animals they see.

This growing database helps the National Parks in their collective effort to enhance these precious landscapes and support strong bio-diverse ecosystems.

The Look Wild project is fun and accessible for everyone: from someone who is new to identifying plants and animals to the keen naturalist who is keeping an eye out for rare or unusual species. Everyone will learn more about what they are seeing and contribute to the scientific research. You don’t need to know what you are looking at as the app and the community using it will help you identify species.

How to get involved

It’s really simple to get started:
1. Download the iNaturalist app to your mobile device, or use the iNaturalist website, create an account, and sign-up to the National Parks UK Look Wild project.
2. Be outside!
3. Take photos of any plants, insects or animals that you find interesting. You can also record sounds and upload those too. Photos need to capture as much detail as possible without disturbing what you’re photographing.
4. Upload the photos to the app with details of where and when you saw it. The app will then help you identify what you have seen, and this will be confirmed by the community on iNaturalist.

All observations are really important, no matter how small or large, and help us understand wildlife on local and national levels and will inform future conservation work. It’s fun for families and a good introduction to volunteering. Happy photographing and posting!

Top tips
  • Check out the identification tips in our wildlife section.
  • Younger wildlife spotters can use the Seek app which has wildlife challenges for you to complete and doesn’t require an account.
  • Before you start your adventure always remember to check the weather forecast and ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear!
Good for you – good for nature

Research on connecting with nature
A review of 50 studies shows nature connection is related to feeling good and functioning well, identifying benefits such as lowered anxiety, improved body image, increased happiness and improved life satisfaction.

Research by Derby University identified five steps to nature connectedness:

  • Senses – tuning in to nature through the senses
  • Beauty – noticing nature’s beauty
  • Meaning – nature bringing meaning to our lives
  • Emotion – feeling alive through the emotions and feelings nature brings
  • Compassion – caring and taking action for nature.

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