City Nature Challenge

City Nature Challenge

Amy Lewis

Make a record for local wildlife

City Nature Challenge is back! This year we want even more people to connect with nature and collect wildlife records - are you in?

The 2021 City Nature Challenge takes place in two parts

30 April - 3 May: Taking pictures of wild animals and plants.
4 May - 9 May: Identifying what was found.

Learn more about City Nature Challenge

Wildlife records are a really important resource to conservation organisations and charities like our own. They help us build up a better picture of how a particular area or species is faring at a local level and how they might be responding to things like habitat loss or climate change.

How do I take part?

City Nature Challenge is all about embracing the healing power of nature while making a difference for wildlife. It's really easy to take part - all you need is your phone!

To take part, download the free iNaturalist app onto your smartphone or tablet and start uploading pictures of wildlife. Your records will then be verified by a community of naturalists and you can also help people identify what they find.

Join an event

Pink orchids growing at Heysham Nature Reserve

City Nature Challenge at Heysham Nature Reserve, 30 April – 3 May 

Want to take part in the City Nature Challenge? Well where better to start your recording than at Heysham Nature Reserve. 

All you need to do to take part in our City Nature challenge trail, is download our introduction sheet here, and then visit the reserve whenever you wish. 


Garden bumblebee

Chris Gomersall/2020VISION

Woodnook Community Garden bioblitz, 30 April, 10am - 2pm

Join the Prospects Foundation for their first BioBlitz at Woodnook Community Garden! The team will be recording what wildlife already lives in this secret gem in the centre of Accrington through bee walks, bug hunts and pond dipping. It's vital to know which species live in the community garden as the Foundation begins rewilding the site. To book a place email

freshfield dune heath covered in lilac coloured heather mixed in with dark green. The heather is short and the picture shows that the site is flat. There are a few tall trees in the background.

City Nature Challenge at the Triangle next to Freshfield Dune Heath, 3 May, 12pm - 3pm

Join in with the City Nature Challenge as you explore the Sefton Coast. This will be a self-led event with the instructions on noticeboards.

Please follow government advice on your walk and to check in with the NHS Track and Trace QR code on site. Organised by the Dynamic Dunescapes Project.

Sunlight filtering through trees in the woodlands of Mere Sands Wood

Mere Sands Wood by Tom McKibbin

Whinney Hill Woodlands bioblitz, 3 May, 10am - 2pm

Join the Prospects Foundation for their first BioBlitz at Whinney Hill, where you can help them record the wildlife that lives in this fantastic woodland. As the team works to increase biodiversity, it's vital to know which species call the woodlands home. To book a place email

How to use iNaturalist

Can I collect records another way?

There is more than one way to submit wildlife records during the City Nature Challenge.

Submit using the iNaturalist website

If you'd prefer not to use the iNaturalist app, you can submit records during the challenge using the iNaturalist website. Simply sign in and click the 'Upload' button to get started.

When you make your record, you can add it to your local City Nature Challenge project:

Submit directly to your local record centre

Records gathered through iNaturalist are submitted to local record centres, but if you like, you can submit directly to them. Each record centre will have a slightly different way of collecting records, but their websites will give you all the information you need to submit a sighting and soon enough you'll be a wildlife recording pro.

Bird watching at home

Nick Upton/2020VISION

Greater Manchester Local Records Centre

Collect wildlife records by using Swift or uploading data to their spreadsheet. Visit their website or email for more information.

GMLRC website

Wildlife recording inaturalist

Charlotte Varela

The Lancashire Environment Record Network

Collect wildlife records with iRecord or iNaturalist by joining the 'LERN Lancashire Records' project. Visit their website to find out more.

LERN website

Sahar exploring Fletcher Moss in Manchester

Merseyside BioBank

Collect wildlife records using their online form or spreadsheet. Visit their website for more information.

Merseyside BioBank website

How did we do in 2020?

The 2020 City Nature Challenge was our biggest yet!

Collectively in the North West we had...

16,067 Observations
1,609 Species
546 Recorders

For a full breakdown of the results and to see how each individual city region did in 2020, click the button below.

City Nature Challenge 2020 results

CNC organisers