City Nature Challenge 2020

by Sarah Ryman Spotlight on

The Living Coast the Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere is taking part for the first time in the global City Nature Challenge, and we need your help!

The aim of this worldwide challenge is to find and record local wildlife between the 24th and 27th April 2020 and to help us to showcase the amazing nature we have within The Living Coast, right on our doorsteps.

The City Nature Challenge is an annual event documenting nature and helping residents, nature enthusiasts and professionals alike to better understand urban biodiversity. Usually the City Nature Challenge takes the form of a friendly competition, however, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, some modifications have been made to keep everyone safe this year. Instead of competing against each other, this year we will join together with cities across the globe to embrace the healing power of nature and encourage collaboration through recording the natural world on our doorsteps. This will allow people to safely contribute and document biodiversity in whatever way they can, even from the safety of their own homes if necessary.

How do you get involved?

Anyone who lives within the Biosphere region can take part and you don't need any experience to participate, just a smart phone with a camera. That's because the City Nature Challenge uses the free iNaturalist app as the platform for everyone to record the wildlife they find in their homes, balconies or gardens. You just need to follow these simple steps to start contributing to the Challenge:

  1. Sign-up for an iNaturalist account and download the iNaturalist App for free, here
  2. Take photos of any wildlife you discover at home, in your garden or on your balcony. It can be any wild plant, animal, fungi, slime mould, or any other evidence of life (scat, fur, feathers, shells!). Here is a reminder of the Biosphere’s boundary.
  3. Share your observations on your iNaturalist account. Don't worry if you are not sure of the name of what you've found,the iNaturalist app will suggest likely species and experts online will also be able to give their opinion!

There are some great resources to help you record the biodiversity in our Biosphere such as this video on how to use the app.

You can take part even if you are unable to leave your home. For example you can record what you can see through your windows, or what insects or other creatures are using your space as habitat or a food source. During April 28 - May 3 you could even hold virtual ID parties!

Here is a helpful guide to help you find nature in and around your home. You could record observations from your back garden, yard, balcony or through your window.

Download the iNaturalist App for free and start recording the world on your doorstep.

Tag #LivingCoastUK and #CityNatureChallenge on social media and we'll share as many recordings as we can.

For more information on the City Nature Challenge please have a look at the website

More on #CityNatureChallenge. Participants are reminded to carefully follow public health guidelines provided as they are changing in real-time. Individual safety and public health are our utmost priority. Please refer to the City Nature Challenge COVID-19 FAQ page for more information.
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