How wild are we?

How wild are we?

© David Kilbey

By 2030 Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust want to see a wilder Hampshire and Isle of Wight. We need your help to create a baseline of the wildlife we have now so we can track our progress. We have a good range of records for our nature reserves and the spaces we manage, but we need you to tell us what wildlife you can see from your windows, what visits your balcony and what’s living in your garden. The surveys below can be completed by downloading the PDFs or entering your findings directly onto the online submission forms.

At the end of the summer we’ll collate and analyse the data from across our two counties and share it with you, so you can find out how wild we are and how you can help us become Wilder.

The records of the plants and animals you provide will be stored at and used by the Trust as part of our ongoing work to record and report on the state of nature in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Where relevant, we will share the data with other recorders such as Hampshire Biodiversity Information Centre (HBIC) to contribute to a larger, more cohesive data set of wildlife locally and nationally.

Our Citizen Science tasks

There are five surveys to complete. You might like to repeat the survey after you’ve made a change to attract more wildlife to your outdoor space, in different weather conditions, or for the daytime surveys try different times of day.

Citizen Science surveys
  1. Window Wildlife Spotter
  2. Invertebrate Insight
  3. Plant Plotter
  4. Nightlife survey
  5. Pondlife survey

Window Wildlife Spotter

How many of these 24 species visit your garden or the outdoor space you can see from your window?

What you'll need:

What to do:

  • Go into your garden/sit at your window/on your balcony.
  • Explore. If you can, look under the leaves of plants you have, look in the trees, hunt in the soil (this is especially good for finding the smaller wildlife on the sheet).
  • Take as long as you want, but we recommend an hour or so.
  • Then sit still (this is great with snacks and a drink) and see what comes into your space.
  • Record everything you see on your survey sheet.

Submit your survey results online here 

  • Share photos of what you’re doing on social media using the hashtag #Hampshirewindowwildlife or #Islandwindowwildlife.

Make space for nature: see more wildlife

Want to see more species on your Wildlife Spotter sheet? Spaces that we have at home, no matter how big or small, can all be transformed to create spaces for animals to feed, shelter, and reproduce. The survival of our wildlife is threatened due to habitat destruction and fragmentation, but we can help create new habitats in our residential areas and bring wildlife back.

Invertebrate Insight

Wherever you live you’re bound to find invertebrates. Tell us about the ones you see.  

What you'll need:

  • The survey sheet and a pencil
  • OR enter your results straight onto your phone or tablet with the submission form open
  • ID guides/apps to help you identify what you find (take a look at the bottom of this page for links to our favourites)
  • Bug hunting kit that includes
    • Dustpan and brush
    • A pot (with holes if it's sealed)
    • Remember to let the insect go back once you're done looking at it.

What to do:

  • You can do a mixture of, or all these activities to complete your survey- take as long as you want but we recommend an hour. Count the number of each species that you see.
    • Time your hunt (spend 15 minutes looking for bugs in one part of your survey area, then 15 minutes in another part) – compare what you find 
    • Look in the shady parts of your space and then the places that have lots of sunshine 
    • If you can, find a spot to dig and see what you can find beneath the soil 
    • Sit still (this is great with snacks and a drink) and see what comes into your space- you’ll be able to record flying insects this way.
  • Record everything you see on your survey sheet.

Submit your survey results online here 

  • Share photos of what you’re doing on social media using the hashtag #Hampshirewindowwildlife or #Islandwindowwildlife.

Take action for insects now

 Insects are dying out up to 8 times faster than larger animals and 41% of insect species face extinction.

Two actions that will make a real difference:

  1. STOP killing insects by reducing your use of harmful chemicals at home 
  2. START to create space for insects

Pledge to take action for insects and receive a free guide

Make space for nature: see more insects

Want to see more species on your Invertebrate Insight sheet? Spaces that we have at home, no matter how big or small, can all be transformed to create spaces for animals to feed, shelter, and reproduce. The survival of our wildlife is threatened due to habitat destruction and fragmentation, but we can help create new habitats in our residential areas and bring wildlife back.

Plant Plotter

Draw out a metre square of your garden, or the whole of your balcony or window box. If you can’t get outside look out of the window. Identify what plants you see and how many.

This is a fun survey to do with more people! If you have the space, have each of you pick a square in your garden (front or back or both) and identify the plants there.

What you'll need:

  • A metre ruler or measuring tape
  • Some string or a way to mark your square
  • The survey sheet and a pencil
  • OR enter your results straight onto your phone or tablet with the submission form open
  • ID guides/apps to help you identify what you find (take a look at the bottom of this page for links to our favourites)

What to do:

Measuring 1 meter squared in your garden

Measuring 1 meter squared in your garden

  • Mark out a metre square using the ruler or measuring tape (if you have a balcony or window box tell us about everything that’s growing in there or look out of your window and tell us what you can see). Use a string or other markers to remember where your square is.
Example of how to fill out plant survey

Example of how to fill out plant survey.

  • Take a close look at everything growing- identify everything and record it on your record sheet (plants, flowers & trees).
  • Take as long as you want, but we recommend an hour or so.
  • Record everything you see on your survey sheet.

Submit your survey results online here 

  • Share photos of what you’re doing on social media using the hashtag #Hampshirewindowwildlife or #Islandwindowwildlife.

Make space for nature: grow more plants

Want to increase the biodiversity of your wild spaces? There are so many ways to get creative about planting, no matter how big your space is - even if it's a balcony or a paved patio. Raised beds... window boxes... potted plants... trellises... versatile plants can be grown in an incredible variety of forms to suit even the smallest of spaces. The survival of our wildlife is threatened due to habitat destruction and fragmentation, but we can help create new habitats in our residential areas and bring wildlife back. The plants you grow will also attract a lot more wildlife to your wild space.

Nightlife Survey

Lots of wildlife visits our gardens when we’re usually tucked up inside our houses. As the evenings get longer and warmer spend some time seeing what creatures appear when the sun goes out.

What you'll need:

What to do:

  • Set up your moth trap (and any other equipment you have). 
  • Wait until dusk and then sit still (this is great with snacks and a drink) and see what comes into your survey area. Count the most of any species you see at once.
Daubenton's Bat © Dale Sutton 2020VISION

Daubenton's Bat © Dale Sutton 2020VISION

Bats are the top predators of nocturnal insects so you're likely to see them during your night time survey. Unfortunately, many bat populations in the UK are in decline due to loss of habitat, reduced food supply, destruction of roosts, and disease. 

So please, when you're out on your night time survey, the best and safest way to see a bat is to just sit and watch the sky. Don't go poking about a suspected bat's roost.

For more information visit the Bat Conservation Trust.

  • If you have a pond you can explore carefully with a torch to see what’s moving around in the pond
  • You might also want to take a look at the plants in your garden to see if any there are any caterpillars on them (many come out to feed in the dark)
  • Take as long as you want, but we recommend an hour or so.
  • Record everything you see on your survey sheet.

Submit your survey results online here 

  • Share photos of what you’re doing on social media using the hashtag #Hampshirewindowwildlife or #Islandwindowwildlife

Make space for nature: see more nightlife

Want to see more species on your Nightlife Survey? Spaces that we have at home, no matter how big or small, can all be transformed to create spaces for animals to feed, shelter, and reproduce. The survival of our wildlife is threatened due to habitat destruction and fragmentation, but we can help create new habitats in our residential areas and bring wildlife back.

Pondlife Survey

Areas of water provide a whole new type of habitat that attracts different animals to your garden. If you have a pond in your garden or local area, explore a little and let us know what creatures you find.

What you'll need:

  • The survey sheet and a pencil
  • OR enter your results straight onto your phone or tablet with the submission form open.
  • ID guides/apps to help you identify what you find (take a look at the bottom of this page for links to our favourites)

What to do:

  • Explore your pond carefully with a torch to see what's moving inside and on the water's edges.
Great Crested Newt

© David Kilbey

Great Crested Newts are the largest of the UK's newt species. Adults are easily identified for their black backs and striking orange bellies. Great Crested Newt populations have declined dramatically in recent years and because of this, they are strictly protected by British law. It is illegal to kill, injure, capture or disturb them; damage or destroy their habitat; and to possess, sell or trade.

So, when you're doing your pondlife survey, please look but don't touch these newts. For more information visit the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust.

  • Take as long as you want, but we recommend an hour or so.
  • Record everything you see on your survey sheet.

Submit your survey results online here 

  • Share photos of what you’re doing on social media using the hashtag #Hampshirewindowwildlife or #Islandwindowwildlife

Make space for nature: see more pondlife

Want to see more species on your Pondlife Survey? Spaces that we have in our home, no matter how big or small, can all be transformed to create spaces for animals to feed, shelter, and reproduce. The survival of our wildlife is threatened due to habitat destruction and fragmentation, but we can help create new habitats in our residential areas and bring wildlife back.

ID Guides and Apps to help you

Want to see more wildlife?

If you haven’t seen much or would like to see more there’s plenty of easy things you can do to encourage more wildlife to your garden or outdoors.

Join Team Wilder

In order for nature to recover, we need many more people on nature’s side. The science shows that 25% of people taking action is enough to change the minds and behaviour of the majority. This is and has to be a joint effort. We all have different skills, knowledge, and experience that, when put together, will help make a more resilient and effective action plan.

Together, we are #TeamWilder.

Find out more