Wildlife Watch in South Derbyshire

Join South Derbyshire’s Environmental Education Project on a journey of discovery across the District. Find out what wildlife lives here and add your records.

Watch our Great Tit family on our YouTube channel

Watch our Great Tit family spotted in a garden in the District - click here

Our gardens and local open spaces are full of wild plants and interesting creatures. See what you can spot close to home. As well as birds and animals you might find a new wildflower or butterfly – often in the most unexpected places.

This project is about you, your gardens and the places you go to within walking distance of your homes. Just one record from you will contribute to a national database. You can submit as many records as you like and we will share them with Derbyshire Biological Records Centre.

Identifying what you have found is often difficult!

We use i-spot nature. You can upload a photo and find out what it is from other people. There are also lots of species groups on Facebook.

 Or you can submit the record and leave us to work out what it is.

Submit a wildlife record here 

There are lots of interesting surveys for different creatures. Here are a few of our favourites:

Find our more about submitting butterfly and moth records here: Butterfly Conservation also has an app for the Big Butterfly Count.

If you are interested in birds; this is a great site to find out more and learn what is most helpful when submitting birdwatching records.

Other ways to record what you see:

There is a national scheme called the Biological Records Centre to monitor plant and animal records. If you want to know how to find out about particular species or get a wider knowledge of wildlife recording and the different schemes out there look here or look in your app store for iRecord Their goal "is to make it easier for wildlife sightings to be collated, checked by experts and made available to support research and decision-making at local and national levels".

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust host the Biological Records Centre for Derbyshire. All your sightings will be logged with them. You can find out more about their work here

Their email address is: speciesrecords@derbyshirewt.co.uk and they can also answer queries and questions about individual records. We will pass your sighting on to them or you can contact them directly instead of uploading your results here.

  • BBC Springwatch are monitoring what is happening around the country. Follow their activities here all year round here.
  • RHS Cellar Slug Hunt – A yellow and green Cellar Slug hunt after dark as they are nocturnal to help identify if the green cellar slug is ‘taking over’.
  • Natural History Museum Digital Nature Journal – For creating a journal of the wildlife you find on your exploration
  • Woodland Trust Natures Calendar - Help with a project looking at how weather changes may be affecting our wildlife by recording the signs of the changing seasons such as buds bursting and birds arriving.

Other ways to have a positive impact on the environment:

  • Choose to walk and cycle close to home, avoiding the use of cars where possible.
  • Volunteer with a local wildlife or footpaths group – join South Derbyshire Environmental Forum network to find out more here or google your own village and see what is already running, for example in Findern here.
  • Find out more about The National Forest, their support for wildlife projects and local woodlands you can visit close to your homes.
  • Most local parks and countryside sites have volunteer groups too – ask for details when you visit.
  • Encourage your company to join a volunteering scheme to allow employees to spend a day doing some environmental volunteering. It’s a great way of team building!
  • Remember to reduce, reuse and recycle unwanted belongings and rubbish and to only buy the food you need and use up leftovers so that nothing goes to waste. To join a local virtual group of people interested in doing that look here.
  • Look for your local ‘In Bloom’ or Transition group as they will be working hard to improve the environment around your local town or village. You can see Swadlincote’s In Bloom page here.

Why are we doing this project?  

One of our key priorities is ‘Our Environment’ and we propose to ‘Enhance Biodiversity Across the District’. As you will understand – to enhance something you need to know what is there already.

The National Forest Company is also a strong supporter of wildlife recording, environmental education and efforts to understand and combat climate change through personal action.

The impact of climate change might mean that creatures and plants once common in our area move out and new ones could arrive.

Many people are already monitoring wildlife and the environment at existing wildlife sites.

We’re interested in knowing about local wildlife as we are supporting Derbyshire Biological Records Centre hosted by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust in their campaign to learn more about what’s on our doorstep so that we can then monitor any changes.