Towns and cities new frontier of nature conservation

New smartphone app to record wildlife in gardens

Surrey Wildlife Trust has launched a new smartphone app to record wildlife in gardens, parks and local green spaces as it turns its attention to towns and cities as the new frontier of nature conservation. 

As part of The Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild campaign, the app challenges people to find a top ten of British wildlife each week in June.

The 30 Days Wild app takes you to the next level of knowledge, where a butterfly becomes a Comma, Peacock or Holly Blue, when week one begins with the top ten “Beautiful Butterflies and Moths”. “Garden Tricksters”, the species that pretend to look like or sound like other animals or objects, are in the lineup for week two. “Garden Allies” in week three are those with a bad reputation, which in fact do a lot of good. The final week is “No such thing as a Weed”, celebrating the native British species which provide food for pollinators and caterpillars. Perfect for enquiring minds and those who want to find out a little bit more about the wonderful nature on their doorstep.

Mike Hordley, Surrey Biodiversity Information Centre project manager, said:

‘The idea behind the app is to show people how much wildlife is in your garden that you may not be aware of. Myth busting is important too. We've been taught that plants like dandelions are bad, but they are really plant superheroes which support so much wildlife!

‘The app enables us to gather garden wildlife data across the county. The more people who help the better, so we can build a bigger picture of what is happening. There are species of conservation concern in our gardens, as well as on nature reserves, and us knowing where they are is so important. Helping us to create green pathways which enable wildlife to move and thrive is fundamental to putting nature into recovery.

‘People are beginning to realise that suburban areas of towns and cities are the new frontier of nature conservation. Huge areas of the suburban world are suitable for masses of wildlife and so this is the next thing we must tackle.’

Surrey has more than 20,000 hectares of gardens, which cover 12 per cent of the county – more than all of Surrey’s nature reserves put together – so they are vital to the survival of our wildlife.  

The Surrey Wildlife Trust 30 Days Wild app is easy to use, suitable for anyone with an interest in wildlife - even absolute beginners, as the app helps people to identify the species with photos.

There is also leaderboard for the more competitive wildlife lovers and an automatic location finder to make life easy.

Download the app below and save to your phone's home screen.

Download app