Be a citizen scientist in your own back yard!

How many different birds, insects, plants, fungi and mammals can you find in your garden?  This Garden Wildlife Week (1-7th June) join Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust in carrying out a Bioblitz of your back garden.

It isn’t safe right now to gather large groups of wildlife watchers, flower lovers and bug-hunters all in one place, but that hasn’t stopped ecologists at Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust from developing their own plan: they’d like you to do a Bioblitz in your own back yard!

Understanding the wildlife around us is really important to conservationists and scientists; knowing which species are common, which are becoming rare and how they are moving around the country can help scientists to explore how species are responding to things like climate change.

A great way for you to get involved with conservation, and help build our understanding of the world around us, is to record the wildlife that you see. One way of doing this is to take part in a Bioblitz and look for, identify and record wildlife, on a specific site, for a specific amount of time.

The Trust has launched lots of resources to help you carry out your very own Bioblitz, including how-to videos and a handy downloadable guide. Get involved by following the Trust on social media at  and using the hashtag #BackYardBioblitz.

You can then easily report what you find on the Trust’s ‘Nature Counts’ wildlife recording page at wildsheffield.com/sightings. This also adds your discoveries to the National Biodiversity Network’s database, the NBN Atlas, which is shared by ecologists across the country and used to inform national policy decisions about nature and the environment.

Pete Tomlin, our Senior Data Management & Monitoring Officer, said:

“In normal circumstances, our staff and volunteers would be carrying out important ecological monitoring on all of our nature reserves and other sites across Sheffield and Rotherham.  However, right now, we’re not able to do that so we’ve had to rethink. We’re really excited to launch the ‘Back Yard Bioblitz’ and hope that as well as collecting some great data on the biodiversity of area, people can also enjoy engaging with nature in their own patch.”

“It’s a challenging time for charities, and we are grateful to The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts for providing the funding for our More Data for Nature project, and of course to all our wonderful members for their continued support.”

The #BackYardBioblitz is part of an ambitious new project, ‘More Data for Nature’, working to develop a landscape scale ecological monitoring framework for Sheffield and Rotherham. Thanks to a £127,800 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and a further £15,000 from the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, the ‘More Data for Nature’ project will work with local groups to monitor their own wildlife sites and collaborate with other Wildlife Trusts from around the country to develop shared monitoring systems.