City Nature Challenge 2021

Nottingham is taking part once again in the global City Nature Challenge, and needs your help.
City Nature Challenge Logo

The City Nature Challenge, taking place Friday 30th April - Monday 3rd May, is an annual event documenting nature and helping residents, nature enthusiasts and professionals alike to better understand urban biodiversity.

The competition invites members of the public to make recordings of nature by taking photos of the birds, butterflies, weeds and worms in their local areas and uploading them to the iNaturalist website/app. Originally begun in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the competition now includes over 400 cities across the world, including in the UK, Bristol, Manchester, London, Brighton, Birmingham and Cardiff.

Once again taking place under Covid restrictions, the nature competition is an opportunity for city-dwellers to get outside, connect with nature and explore wildlife on our doorstep, as well as contribute to scientific research that will shape conservation and the way we protect and preserve biodiversity locally and globally.

In Nottingham, the initiative is being led by the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust City Local Group and local education charity Ignite!, with support from Nottingham City Council and the National Biodiversity Network Trust. In the 2020 City Nature Challenge, Nottingham topped the UK charts for the most observations, species and observers per square kilometre, with over 2700 observations made by over 100 observers, including 673 different species.

Last year’s efforts demonstrated that there’s a strong passion for wildlife in Nottingham, and with so many of us now re-emerging from lockdown, the City Nature Challenge comes at the perfect time for us all to reconnect with nature and celebrate the biodiversity in our city
Martin Willis, City Local Group
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

The groups will be supporting local schools and volunteer groups to participate, as well as providing useful information about wildlife for participants. While it is not possible to run public events, the group is encouraging people to take part over the weekend however they can and wherever they are.

Giselle Sterry from the National Biodiversity Network Trust said ‘The City Nature Challenge is about celebrating urban wildlife in all its forms, that means not just parks and open spaces, but also the birds in our garden, the ‘weeds’ on our patio, the bugs on our balconies, the spiders in our sheds and the butterflies on our allotments. This is an opportunity for people to look at their environments a different way, and find beauty in unexpected places.’

To take part, people just take photos of the plants, animals or other wildlife in their local area and upload their recordings to iNaturalist for free using either the iNaturalist app or the iNaturalistUK website. Recordings made in the City will appear on City Nature Challenge 2021: Nottingham City, UK.

People who live outside the city boundaries can take part too and all the sightings recorded across the country as part of the challenge can be viewed via the City Nature Challenge International Weekend 2021: UK.

The City Local Group is also inviting people who can help identify species in the photos taken, to confirm the sightings through the app or on the iNaturalist website until Sunday 9th May. The group is asking that people follow the latest NHS and government guidelines while taking part in the City Nature Challenge.

At the end of the challenge, all the data will be available and where possible shared to national and international databases, which will enable researchers to better understand changes in biodiversity.

Get involved!

Find out more about:
- City Nature Challenge at
- iNaturalistUK at
- Nottingham’s entry at