Here you can volunteer to participate in data collection for CEH scientific projects, some of which have free smartphone apps that enable anyone to record environmental information. As well as connecting thousands of people to their environment across the UK, and the wider world, Citizen Science has a high value to research and policy.

Citizen Science resources

Citizen Science Projects across CEH

Biological Recording Scheme (BRC)

Pollination maintains biodiversity

The BRC is a national recording scheme for terrestrial and freshwater species. Since its beginnings in 1964 BRC has worked closely with volunteer schemes all over the UK, collecting volunteer data and producing more than 10,000 species distribution maps. This information is invaluable for researchers, allowing them to monitor species trends and track environmental change. 

By using the smartphone apps, or recording sightings online, you can become part of a community of citizen scientists working to better understand our natural environment. 

National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS)

The National Plant Monitoring Scheme is a partnership of the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI), the Biological Records Centre (within the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology), Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) and Plantlife. The scheme is looking for volunteers to help scientists with an annual stock take of the UK's wild plants and their habitats. The surveys of wildflowers and their habitats will provide evidence of which widespread plants are increasing or declining, as well as indicating the changing state of valued habitats such as grassland, fenland and even road verges.

Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme (PBMS)

PBMS logo
Predatory birds, like red kites, are vulnerable to pesticides Photo: Shutterstock

The PBMS is a long-term, national monitoring scheme that investigates the levels of pollution in select species of predatory and fish-eating birds in Britain. By collecting carcasses of dead birds and investigating their contaminant levels we can discover:

  • how and why the levels vary between species and regions,
  • how the levels are changing over time,
  • and how these contimaninants may be affecting individual birds and overall populations. 

For information on how to report dead birds, please contact us:

Air Quality - personal exposure to air pollution 

Demonstration of backpack

Scientists at CEH provided volunteers with backpacks fitted with particle monitors and GPS satellite tracking technology. By linking daily routines of volunteers to air pollution levels, scientists could identify the key factors contributing to the individual’s personal exposure to harmful pollution levels. 

Please see the article on the BBC website for more information.