RSPB's Nature Challenge now extends to Clydesdale

Help the RSPB log nature in Clydesdale by taking part in the challenge.Help the RSPB log nature in Clydesdale by taking part in the challenge.
Help the RSPB log nature in Clydesdale by taking part in the challenge.
RSPB Scotland is encouraging people to get closer to nature this May bank holiday by taking part in the City Nature Challenge, from today (April 29) until May 2.

What does this have to do with Clydesdale, I hear you say! Well, this year the challenge takes in Greater Glasgow which extends all over Lanarkshire, including our beautiful corner of the world.

The challenge is an international citizen science project which aims to highlight nature in cities and surrounding regions. It encourages people to get involved in recording wildlife using a free app over a four-day period.

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For the fourth year the project is being co-ordinated by RSPB Scotland’s Giving Nature a Home team.

In 2021, 14 city regions across the UK joined forces to activate a national community of almost 5000 wildlife recorders during City Nature Challenge.

Recorders contributed an incredible 62,000 wildlife records to local and national databases, where they are used to inform conservation, management, and research.

Kate Kirkwood, RSPB Scotland’s Giving Nature a Home project manager, said: “This year’s City Nature Challenge is a great way to discover the wildlife and plants that live where you live.

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“Over the past couple of years many people have found solace in nature and reconnected with their own local areas. Taking part in this recording project will not only help you learn more about wildlife but also contribute useful data to biological records across the country. It’s lots of fun too!

“We’re encouraging everyone to take part over the four days. It’s such a good activity to get children involved with and do as a family. You don’t need any previous experience of nature recording – all you need is your phone with the iNaturalist app on it.

“The only criteria for submitting records is that the photo must be of wild species so no pets or garden plants. You can record what you see from your windows, spot in your flower boxes, find outside in your gardens or balconies or see in your local park or greenspaces.”

To take part people are asked to visit and download the free iNaturalist app.

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Then during the four days take photos of the plants, insects, animals, birds, or fungi spotted from their windows or outdoors.

No expert knowledge is needed as the app will help to ID findings or photos can be shared with the global community to find an answer.

Scott Shanks, RSPB Scotland conservation officer, said: “The iNaturalist app is very easy to use and I’ve found it handy for the identification of all sorts of plants and animals.

“Recording wildlife is the key to conservation. It can help map the spread of invasive species, identify biodiversity-rich sites, and you might even find something that hasn’t been recorded locally before. Give it a go!”

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RSPB Scotland suggests attracting birds to your garden by putting up bird feeders, especially if they are close to bushes or hedges.

Insects such as butterflies and bees are attracted to flowers, while other invertebrates can be found under logs and rocks. If you have a pond you could do a pond dip with a net.

Share your photos on RSPB Scotland Facebook and Twitter using #citynaturechallenge and #cncuk.