City Nature Challenge 2021

March 29, 2021

Does Brighton have more birds than Bristol? Cardiff more chestnuts than Coventry? Manchester more minibeasts than Middlesbrough? Help us find out by taking part in City Nature Challenge!

What is City Nature Challenge?

City Nature Challenge is an epic, global citizen science project to collect information about our local wildlife, which will be used to inform local and national conservation work. In 2020 The Living Coast took part in this challenge with some fascinating discoveries and this year the Brighton & Eastern Downs region has expanded beyond the biosphere boundary, an 800 km2 area that spans from the River Arun to Eastbourne and includes the South Downs National Park, allowing more people to get involved.

Bee on dandelion

Map of expanded City Nature Challenge area for 2021

UK cities are collaborating with 400+ cities across the world to find and record as much wildlife as possible to help track how nature is bouncing back this spring!

The wildlife records are logged using the free and simple iNaturalist platform, which can be used on a mobile app or on a computer.

When is it?

On Friday 30th April – Monday 3rd May over 400 cities across the world will be recording data together. You can spend as much or as little time taking part as you like!

Between the 4th – 9th May the iNaturalist community will identify and verify the wildlife records (this means that you can upload records that you are not confident about identifying).

Who can take part?

Everyone can take part! Wildlife records collected within the 14 UK city regions will be part of the global challenge. If you are based outside of one of the competing cities, you can still take part by adding wildlife records to the UK City Nature Challenge map.

Learning objectives

Participants will:

  • Observe and identify living things
  • Discover what creatures live in and
  • around their schools/homes
  • Help to protect nature by recording wildlife

How to take part:

Health and safety considerations

  • Ensure you follow current COVID-19 government guidelines when planning your activities.
  • An iNaturalist account can be created by young people aged 13+. For younger children the account should be created by a parent or guardian.
  • You can also create a class, school, or group account.
  • You can set your location visibility to ‘obscured’ if you want to hide your exact location.
  • Teachers and group leaders should complete a risk assessment based on their chosen site and the needs of their students. For further information visit:

Activity ideas, tools and resources

Guides, videos and activity sheets from partner organisations:

Other resources:

  • Visit the NHC website to download a KS1, KS2 or KS3 City Nature Challenge lesson plan:
  • Visit the City Nature Challenge Education Toolkit, created by the US Challenge organisers, for resources and activity ideas for different age groups.
  • Why not create your own City Nature Challenge competition between classes, schools or youth groups? This can be done by setting up your own iNaturalist project and inviting others to contribute. Your wildlife records made on the 30th April – 3rd May will still be included in the City Nature Challenge data.
  • Come along to a free iNaturalist training session on Thurs 1st April, 6:30pm, or Fri 23rd April, 12.30pm. Book your free ticket here.

Get in touch

We’d love to hear about your City Nature Challenge activities and findings! Share your photos using the hashtag #CNCUK.

by Sarah Ryman

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