Volunteer Wildlife Watching and Survey

  1. New to surveying
  2. General wildlife surveys
  3. Cornish Choughs
  4. Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust
  5. Marine Surveys

If you don’t know much about wildlife but you’d like to learn more and build on your wildlife ID skills, a good place to start is at the National Trust Wildlife

Watchpoint, where they can offer you the opportunity to develop your skills while sharing your enthusiasm for wildlife with the public. We offer regular wildlife ID sessions and guided walks to help bring volunteers and visitors closer to nature.

If you are interested in learning more about wildlife and helping on the watchpoint please get in touch with: catherine.lee@nationaltrust.org.uk or (01326) 291174.

With a wealth of species on the Lizard, information is key to understanding what we have, and what we need to do to help wildlife, particularly the more unusual species in our care. If you have a particular expertise, and would like to take on monitoring of a certain taxa, please do get in touch. We always appreciate information that will help us make management decisions. If you are a university student wanting to undertake research on the Lizard, please do get in touch with the land manager for permission, and so we can help with relevant information for your project. More generally, if you have an interest in wildlife, we can occasionally match volunteers wanting to learn about specific wildlife and survey techniques, with opportunities offering training. To be kept informed of such opportunities contact rachel.holder@nationaltrust.org.uk or (01326) 291174

The Cornish Chough Conservation Network works hard to improve the natural habitat for choughs and to protect the growing population from disturbance (intentional and unintentional) by monitoring their nest sites. We are always keen to find new volunteers to help us protect nest sites and send in sightings from across the Duchy. To learn more about the Cornish Chough Conservation Network visit their website (LINK http://www.cornishchoughs.org/ ) or contact claire.mucklow@rspb.org.uk

If you are interested in helping with nest protection and monitoring here on The Lizard please get in touch with catherine.lee@nationaltrust.org.uk

In the meantime, if you see any choughs please send your sightings to: cornishchoughs@rspb.org.uk (The basic report details should include: date and time, location and number of choughs seen. Ring combinations and photographs are always useful but not essential).

The Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT) has volunteers across Cornwall recording seal sightings. If you would like to learn more about identifying seals and how to get involved in regular surveys please get in touch with Sue Sayer (sue@cornwallsealgroup.co.uk). Likewise, if you have seen a seal, the CSGRT is always keen to receive sighting reports: the basic report details should include: date and time, location and number of seals seen. Photographs are always useful but not essential. For more information on seals in Cornwall visit the Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust’s website (LINK https://www.cornwallsealgroup.co.uk/).

There is a huge range of marine surveys that you can get involved in on The Lizard, many of which are linked to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

Below is a list of some of the main marine projects:
Basking SharkSeaquest Sundays (LINK) – ‘Seaquest Southwest’ is a marine recording project run jointly by the Cornwall and Devon Wildlife Trusts that collects sightings of all marine creatures from the public. ‘Seaquest Sundays’ are a monthly land-based survey held at various sites across Devon and Cornwall. There are two ‘Seaquest Sunday’ sites on the Lizard and many more elsewhere in Cornwall. You can either join in at an existing site or choose your own new site. Training provided. For more information visit: http://www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/seaquest

Shoresearch (rocky shore surveys) :
Shoreseach is a citizen-science project being carried out on both sides of the English Channel. It aims to collect vital data on rare species, non-native species and climate change indicator species in and around our Marine Protected Areas, as well as raising public interest and appreciation of our marine life. Surveys are carried out between March and October. Training provided. For more information visit: http://www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/shoresearch or email matt.slater@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk

Seasearch (LINK) is the ideal opportunity for any divers interested in putting their diving skills to good ‘survey’ use. It is a national project for volunteer sports divers who have an interest in what they are seeing under water, who want to learn more and to help protect the marine environment. For more information visit: http://www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/seasearch

Voluntary Marine Conservation Areas (VMCA): If you live near a VMCA (Looe, Fowey, Helford, St Agnes or Polzeath) you can become involved as a volunteer. Volunteers can help in these areas with education work involving schools, events programmes and environmental monitoring programmes. The Helford VMCA has an established group, called the Helford Marine Conservation Group. For more information about the group and how to get involved, please visit their website http://helfordmarineconservation.co.uk/ or contact the coordinator Sue Scott on coordinator@helfordvmca.co.uk

Other Wildlife Organisations

There are lots of other organisations carrying out survey work on the Lizard.

For more details follow the links below:

Plantlife: http://www.plantlife.org.uk/things_to_do/wildflowers_count/
Butterfly Conservation: http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/sightings.php
UK Moths: http://ukmoths.org.uk/pages/moths-count/
LadybirdUK: http://www.ladybird-survey.org/
Buglife: https://www.buglife.org.uk/activities-for-you/wildlife-surveys
Marine Life: http://www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/livingseas/livingseas
Cornwall Bird Watching Preservation Society: http://www.cbwps.org.uk/cbwpsword/sightings/
BTO birdTrack: http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/birdtrack/about
…and more at OPAL: National Citizen Science Surveys: http://www.opalexplorenature.org/surveys