Recording the bugs where you are

STOP PRESS: An updated version of this information is available at theBigBuzz website.

You can make a valuable contribution to science by recording the wildlife you see, and submitting your observations to one of the many wildlife surveys there are in the UK. Here are some you might like to take part in.

National Insect Week 2008
National Insect Week 2008 is coordinating several insect surveys you might like to take part in, including:
– 2-spot Ladybird
– Stag Beetle
– Hummingbird Hawkmoth
– Painted Lady Butterfly

If you see any of the above species, then visit the National Insect Week website to log your sightings!

Nature’s Calendar

Nature’s Calendar records the changing seasons, and runs SpringWatch and AutumnWatch, which the BBC is involved with. There are lots of online resources to help you identify animals and plants, and lots of things to record!

Nature’s Calendar uses some of my photos on its website, newsletters etc.

Younger recorders should check out the Nature Detectives scheme.


Garden BirdWatch is a very easy recording scheme to be involved with, and as with all schemes, it’s great fun too. You just record the birds you see in your garden each week. There are also monthly recording forms for butterflies and moths, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, if you want to record those too.

National Ladybird Survey

There are two ways to participate in this survey. You can either let the survey know as and when you see a ladybird, or  you can carry out a specific site survey.

If you need help identifying the ladybirds you see, check out the national ladybird survey site, or  Paul Mabbot’s ladybird site.

Harlequin Ladybird Survey

Let the Harlequin Ladybird Survey know if you spot any of the new ladybird in Britain, the Harlequin. Find out about Harelquins and about my first Harlequin sightings in York here.

Bumblebee Conservation Trust

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is starting a more informal Garden Beewatch project. They’d like you to take photos of as many different types of bee as you can in your garden, or when you’re out for a walk, and then email the photos to Let them know when and where (with a postcode or grid reference) the photos were taken.

Contact the Trust for more details.

The Great Stag Hunt

The People’s Trust for Endangered Species wants to know if you’ve seen any stag beetles. Go to their Great Stag Hunt information to find out more.

Also, if you find a dead stag beetle, then wrap it carefully and send it to:
Deborah Harvey
School of Biological Sciences
Royal Holloway
University of London
Surrey TW20 0EX

Carefully enclose it in both a box and an airtight envelope, with details of exactly where you found it. It will be passed on to researchers who are studying beetle sizes.


There are various scientists in Britain interested in the sawflies you see. If you see Berberis sawflies, you can record you sighting with the RHS. Find out more about other sawfly sightings at my ‘Entering the scientific literature’ blog post.

Anneliese Emmans


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