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100 Species Challenge

The 100 Species Challenge is your chance to learn more about the wildlife that is all around us. How many species of plants or animals do you think you know already? How long will it take you to find one hundred?

How does the challenge work?

When you sign up you will get access to a set of illustrated species guides, online and real-life training sessions, and the expertise of the NatureSpot team – everything you need to get started. As you work towards finding 100 species from at least 10 different groups – from grasses to mosses, butterflies to slugs – we want you to go beyond the things you already know and start learning to recognise species you had never known about before.

The challenge is run by NatureSpot, a citizen science project happening across the whole of Leicestershire and Rutland. Nature-lovers sign up and then send in information when they find a species they recognise. Perhaps you’ve seen a robin in the garden, or maybe you’re a spider expert who has identified a rare kind of spider under a microscope. Big or small, rare or commonplace, all sightings are welcome.

Why record wildlife?

The more we can understand about nature the more we can do to protect it. By collecting wildlife records, NatureSpot members are adding to our knowledge of species in Leicestershire. Over time we can start to spot patterns or changes. Are we seeing the first swifts earlier in the year? Are orchids being seen further north than previously, or are we finding fewer wild bees? Changes like these can give us clues about the effects of climate and habitat changes.

The Naturespot records are all uploaded onto the National Biodiversity Network which is used by scientists and researchers. So, that robin in your garden could end up as part of the latest scientific research!

Making a record – the 4 ‘W’s

If you’re a budding naturalist ready to start spotting and recording you will need to know about the ‘Four W’s’. Every nature record must include:

  • What did you see? Include the species and if you can, add in extra information such as whether you saw a female or male, and how many.
  • Where was the sighting? The NatureSpot website uses a map to give a grid reference for each record.
  • When did see it? This is useful information for scientists.
  • Who saw it? We include our names so we know that every record was a true sighting made by a real person.

Ready to go?

Follow the steps below to get started:

  1. Register with NatureSpot.
  2. Email your name to info@naturespot.org with '100 Species Challenge' in the subject line. You will be given access to the Challenge pages and you are ready to make your first record.

For guidance on how to get the app and make records visit 100 Species submitting records - NatureSpot.