Get involved! You can improve your understanding of the environment and learn new skills; meet new people who have similar interests to your own; improve both your health and well-being. Here are links to freely available resources to help you get involved in citizen science and action.



Choosing and using citizen science

Choosing and using citizen science

Citizen science can be a very useful ‘tool’ for undertaking research and monitoring, while also engaging with many people.

We aim to provide guidance to support people considering using a citizen science approach, especially (but not necessarily restricted to) monitoring biodiversity and the environment in the UK. It will help you decide whether citizen science is likely to be useful, and it will help you decide which broad approach to citizen science is most suitable for your question or activity. 

Guide to citizen science 

Guide to citizen science

Citizen science – the involvement of volunteers in science – isn’t new. Within the UK we have a long and rich tradition of scientific discovery by unpaid individuals and interest groups.

This guide aims to support people already involved in citizen science, and those new to it, within the UK. It is based on detailed information gathered and analysed as part of the UK-EOF funded project “Understanding Citizen Science & Environmental Monitoring”, which semi-systematically reviewed 234 projects and included 30 case studies (Roy et al., 2012). It will help you to  design and implement a citizen science project relating to biodiversity or the environment.

Learning guide for teachers 

Learning guide for teachers

Citizen science is interdisciplinary, fits with existing curriculum subjects, encourages citizenship and meets requirements for outdoor learning.

It provides awide range of hands-on resources for teachers to use practical techniques to develop the skills of scientific investigation and helps young people to apply and interpret numerical information and gain confidence in the use of technology.

Through citizen science young people become better connected to nature and participate in activities which contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Schools can establish productive links with the local environment and the community, working with local people to learn and use new skills.

Adaptation Scotland 

Adaptation Scotland

There is no one way to adapt to climate change. Every organisation, business and community is different and each will be affected by climate impacts differently depending on their location or vulnerability.

We know how to get the process started and what can make it easier to get others on-board. Adaptation is not a destination but a journey. In the future successful organisations, businesses and communities will have adapting to climate change embedded in their everyday practice. We can help you from getting started and analysing how climate change is impacting you, through to monitoring the effect of your adaptation efforts.

Citizen science & Curriculum for Excellence

Citizen science & Curriculum for Excellence 

Want to discover a new quasar in deep space, count elephants in the Serengeti National Park from the comfort of your classroom or monitor invasive species in your local park?

If so, then you will be joining forces with millions of people around the world who are discovering a passion for science through citizen science activities. Read on to find out more about the exciting ways that learners and their communities can engage with science as volunteers and make a difference to their communities and world.



iSpot Nature 

iSpot Nature

Most activity on iSpot revolves around the observations of wildlife that people add to the site. You have to be logged in to post (you will need to register first if you haven't already done so).

iSpot is an online nature community that connects beginners with experts and fellow enthusiasts. It was developed by the Open University with funding from OPAL. You can share images of what you’ve seen, identify species, discuss your findings with other members and learn more about the wildlife you’ve seen.



Leafsnap UK is a field guide to UK trees developed by the Natural History Museum, London, working with the United States Leafsnap teams. It uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from photographs of their leaves.


Collect, analyse and visualise

NBN Atlas Scotland 

NBN Atlas Scotland

The NBN Atlas Scotland is a free online tool that provides a platform to engage, educate and inform people about the natural world. It will help improve biodiversity knowledge, open up research possibilities and change the way environmental management is carried out in the UK.

The NBN Atlas Scotland is innovative because the combination of the multiple sources of information about UK species and habitats, and the ability to interrogate, combine, and analyse these data – in a single location – has not been done before, on this scale.  It aims to facilitate learning about and understanding the UK’s wildlife.



iRecord App enables you to get involved with biological recording. Contribute your species sightings with GPS acquired coordinates, descriptions and other information, thus providing scientists with important new biodiversity information that contributes to nature conservation, planning, research and education.

Your data will be kept secure and will be regularly backed up. Automatic checks will be applied to your observations to help spot potential errors, and experts can review your sightings. All wildlife sightings for non-sensitive species are shared with other users and will be made available to National Recording Schemes, Local Record Centres and Vice County Recorders (VCRs).



Helping people raise their voice and those who serve them to listen and respond better

Ushahidi, which translates to “testimony” in Swahili, was developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election violence in 2008. Since then, thousands have used our crowdsourcing tools to raise their voice. We’re a technology leader in Africa, headquartered in Nairobi, with a global team. We are a social enterprise that provides software and services to numerous sectors and civil society to help improve the bottom up flow of information.



GeoServer is a Java-based software server that allows users to view and edit geospatial data. Using open standards set forth by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), GeoServer allows for great flexibility in map creation and data sharing.

There is much more to GeoServer than nicely styled maps, though. GeoServer also conforms to the Web Feature Service (WFS) standard, which permits the actual sharing and editing of the data that is used to generate the maps. Others can incorporate your data into their websites and applications, freeing your data and permitting greater transparency.


The citizen's observatory of water

Citizens’ observatories are emerging as a means to establish interaction and co-participation between citizens and authorities both during emergencies but also during the day-to-day management of fundamental resources.

WeSenseIt is a EU FP7 project (funded from 2012 to 2016) developing citizen observatories of water and flooding and thereby defining a framework in which authorities and citizens cooperate in.

Public lab 

Public lab

Public lab is a community and non-profit democratizing science to address environmental issues that affect people.

We believe that generating knowledge is a powerful thing. We aim to open research from the exclusive hands of scientific experts. By doing so, communities facing environmental justice issues are able to own the science and advocate for the changes they want to see. By promoting a hands-on, do-it-yourself ethos, we support each other’s exploration, which leads to technical development and real applications in our communities.


Air sensor toolbox for citizen scientists

The website provides information for citizen scientists and others on how to select and use low-cost, portable air sensor technology and understand results from monitoring activities. The information can help the public learn more about air quality in their communities.

Advances in low-cost compact sensor technologies for air quality measurement are inspiring environmental scientists and the general public to seek information about how to use them. The technology is providing more cost-effective ways to monitor air quality and helping the public learn more about air quality in their neighborhoods and communities.


Networking and volunteering

Scotland's environment web 

Project finder

Find citizen science monitoring or action projects that you might want to take part in, or if you’re looking for volunteers to help out with projects you are running, register with us. Either way it’s quick and easy if you to use our project finder.

 The community volunteering charity

Scotland counts

The Community Volunteering's Scotland Counts project is supported by Scottish Natural Heritage, SEPA, the Scottish Government and Forestry and Land Scotland. 

The project aims to ensure that every individual and community in Scotland has the opportunity to develop skills and confidence to understand their local environment through citizen science. We promote citizen science, to ensure that people across Scotland understand how easy it is for everyone to get involved.

Visit their website

Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park 

Volunteering at Lomond & Trossachs National Park

Volunteers really make a difference. They are really important to the success of the National Park – they are an inspiration, giving valuable time to enhance the National Park for people and wildlife.

During 2015, our volunteers contributed 14,500 hours towards helping visitors, habitats and species, and improving paths and infrastructure.

Cairngorms National Park 

Volunteering in Cairngorms National Park

Find out the latest volunteering opportunities and get involved with nature and the environment with groups and organisations across the Cairngorms National Park

There are a wide range of opportunities to get involved with groups across the Park, from path maintenance to tree planting, to species surveying and more! Here are just a selection – we’re just beginning to pull together opportunities, so please keep checking back to see what new has been added and have a look at our Twitter account for the most up-to-date opportunities from across the Park!

Forestry and Land Scotland 

Volunteering with Forestry and Land Scotland

From helping construct mountain bike trails to being a guide at an osprey project, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer in one of our forests.

This page was reviewed on 31 Mar 2022

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