Joining us from Gardenwatch? Welcome to iSpot!

Joining us from Gardenwatch? Welcome to iSpot! - UK and Ireland :

Whether you're visiting this page because you heard about iSpot while watching Springwatch on BBC Two or BBC iPlayer, have done a Gardenwatch survey on The Open University’s nQuire website, or just come to see what it's all about, welcome to iSpot!  

iSpotnature.org is an Open University citizen science platform that was developed to help you learn about and engage with nature, while sharing and building your wildlife identification skills.

For our regular users, iSpot is linked with Gardenwatch during the Springwatch series to help those getting involved. Please look out for new iSpotters joining our online community, help where you can but  do join in the Gardenwatch activity too! 

If you are joining in the BBC Springwatch Gardenwatch activities, tag your observations on iSpot with the descriptive tag ‘Gardenwatch’. This will connect your posts with those made by others in an iSpot Gardenwatch project, where you can keep track of all the observations you and others make on iSpot throughout the BBC programme activity.

Read on to find out more.

About Gardenwatch

Gardenwatch is a collaborative project between British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and the BBC Springwatch team. Springwatch returned to BBC Two on May 27 broadcasting from the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland. This year presenters Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan, Iolo Williams and Gillian Burke are inviting audiences to join in the series' biggest ever citizen science project – Gardenwatch.

Gardenwatch focuses on the last great and perhaps least known wildness regions in the country – our gardens. UK gardens cover an area of land three times the size of all the country’s RSPB nature reserves put together. Now more than ever before, Britain’s gardens are a critical refuge for wildlife. It is vital that they are surveyed to find out what species live there and what needs to be done to protect and encourage them in the future. Gardenwatch asks the public to share what is in their garden, and its wildlife, to help build a comprehensive picture of how gardens can help UK wildlife species to thrive in the future.  

iSpot and Gardenwatch

iSpot is linked to Gardenwatch as a way for you get involved; to help you identify and learn more about the wildlife spotted; find out more here.

This page has information about how iSpot can help you identify what you spot in your garden.  For our regular iSpotters, as our online community of keen nature enthusiasts, do join in too!. 

Visiting iSpot for the first time? Here’s how to get started:

Make your BBC Gardenwatch wildlife sightings count and get help identifying what you find with iSpot! 

iSpotnature.org is an online citizen science platform for biodiversity. Take pictures, share observations with others and learn about the wildlife you see.

  • Browse observations: Look at some of the latest observations from the front page or use the species browser (see more below). Anyone can see what's on the site without registering, just go to the home page, and click on the photos for the latest observations.
  • Register: To join in the activity you will need to register (it’s free!). Click on the “Sign up to iSpot” button and provide a user name, email address, and password. ((If you’re under 16 do check with your parents, guardians or teachers to do this).
  • Add an observation: Get outdoors and take some pictures of wildlife! Adding your own observations to iSpot allows you to get more out of the website and participate fully. It’s easy to upload a photo and a description of the wildlife you have seen. Click “Add observation”, select and attach the photo then fill in the details.
  • Provide a location: Click on “Use map” to select your location from the map (your camera may fill in this information for you).  If you do not want to reveal the precise location of the observation, there is an option to hide it.
  • Add a tag: If you are joining in the BBC Springwatch Gardenwatch activities, tag your observations on iSpot with the descriptive tag ‘Gardenwatch’. This will connect your posts with those made by others in an iSpot Gardenwatch project, where you can keep track of all the observations you and others make on iSpot throughout the BBC programme activity.
  • Add an identification: If you think you know the name of what you have seen, you can say so! Start typing the English or scientific name, then select your species and match the name from the list. If you don’t know the name, that’s fine, leave it blank and others will help you identify it.
  • Be part of the iSpot community: Once you are registered and have added an observation on iSpot, you can also assist others by agreeing with, adding identifications or comments to their observations. iSpot is a community of people who enjoy helping each other learn about wildlife and how to identify it - your help will be much appreciated! If you recognise a species on iSpot, add its name if it hasn't yet been identified, or if it has you can click on 'I agree!'.

iSpot species browser

The species browser is a fun and quick way to explore species in iSpot and can help you identify your own observations. It shows links between the thousands of species observed on iSpot, with the most frequently seen from each group at the top of the list. To find the browser click on the “Explore community” menu and select Species browser.

Springwatch may want to see your Gardenwatch iSpot observations!

The Springwatch team are keen to see what you are posting on iSpot and may want to find out more, so look out, we may be in touch about your observations on iSpot.

Happy iSpotting!!!

24 May 2019
Janice A