Herb Robert Seed Heads

Zsuzsanna Bird

Recording Wildlife Near You

This Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) project has now come to an end, but many of the general messages about recording are still valid.  

The full project report can be downloadedhere.

The project:
‘Recording wildlife near you’ was an 18 month Heritage Lottery Funded project looking for volunteers who were willing to record signs and sightings of wildlife, particularly in areas where there is less knowledge of the current species and habitats.

Many recorders and volunteers have helped build up a general picture of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s wildlife over the years, however there are still many gaps in this picture. The record density map below shows the number of records that we currently have in our database per square kilometre, for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.


It is clear to see how, with the exception of birds (many volunteers and recorders have done very well with these - thank you!), there are large areas of Cambridgeshire, particularly in the fens, where we have only one or no records per square kilometre.  Without this knowledge it is not possible to build a complete picture of the species and habitats across the county and so we are asking for your help. 

Want to have a closer look - check out the area where you live according to our more detailed area maps.

Fenland District
East Cambridgeshire District
Cambridge City South Cambridgeshire District Huntingdonshire District

Get involved:
Whether you are spotting wildlife in your garden, on your way to work, or on a walk you can record! We also post events of our own or of other groups on our Facebook page when we hear of them.

It’s easy to get involved with only four things to remember:

  1. Have fun!
  2. Spot the species
  3. Record the species
  4. Be safe

have funHave fun:
Recording shouldn’t be a chore, but something you can do in your own time and the best bit is you can be proud you are not only helping wildlife by recording its presence, but also leaving a legacy for future generations to look back on.

But don’t just take our word for it; see what naturalist and television presenter Nick Baker has to say about recording wildlife:

"Simple it may seem but the information collected from recording, even common and easy to identify species, can be priceless.

Knowing where things are living and in what sorts of numbers is at the very beginning of the conservation process; you can't help a Dormouse, Adder or a Fritillary Butterfly if you don't know where it is living or indeed how many you've got. Which is why it is so important to record what you are seeing when you are out and about.  For me, this is a great project to get involved in and one that can connect you and your family to the living environment around your own home patch".

Spot the species:                                                                   

Take a look at our survey guide for tips on spotting species’ and our wildlife sheet identification guides for help on some of the species to look out for.  This is by no means all the species to record. Remember, if in doubt, don’t miss out!  Record the species and then ask the CPERC team if you’re not sure about the record. 

Survey guide - tips and hints on surveying

Native species identification

Non-native species identification

Polecat identification

Amphibian guide

Water vole and otter identification

Record the species:

record the species]Our ‘Submit records’ page and our Good Recording Guide provide advice and guidance on what makes a good record.  Please use our easy to complete record sheet when out in the field to help you keep track of what you manage to spot and email it back when completed to data@cperc.org.uk.



Be safe:

Don’t let Health & Safety be a barrier to joining in, but please read our common sense guidelines before surveying.

Now you know how to get involved, why not have a go?  You may be surprised by what you find - our spider volunteers certainly were!


Volunteers with the help of county recorder, Ian Dawson, helped to find a rare spider for Cambridgeshire in June 2012, Ozyptila simplex. With only 6 known locations of this spider within Cambridgeshire so far, this is a wonderful find and a pat on the back to the volunteers and recorder's hard work! To find out more about this species please visit BritishSpiders.org.uk.

 heritage lottery funded