Published: 16th April 2019

City Nature Challenge 2019 (April 26th-29th )

City Nature Challenge is an international competition where cities around the world will be competing to see who can make the most observations of nature, find the most species, and engage the most people. The aim is for local residents to discover and record as much wildlife as possible over a four-day period. Last year saw 68 cities from five continents compete, with San Francisco being declared the overall winner.

City Nature Challenge 2019 will take place between Friday 26th April and  Monday 29th April. This year the North East of England will be entering the challenge in an event coordinated by the Great North Museum: Hancock, the Natural History Society of Northumbria and the Environmental Records Information Centre North East. Participation is easy and only requires a mobile phone. Go to www.inaturalist.org  and download the iNaturalist mobile app. Use it during the competition dates to record and photograph any signs of wildlife.  Anyone can take part regardless of ability – the extensive community of iNaturalist users helps others to identify unknown species. The app also geotags photographs automatically. Plants, animals, fungi, seaweeds, droppings and tracks etc. are all acceptable sightings but captive animals and garden plants are not.

The North East England City Nature Challenge will accept sightings recorded anywhere in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, County Durham and Tees Valley.  Sightings of marine species are eligible so if you are out and about on the coast please remember to record anything you see in the intertidal zone (from rock pools or saltmarsh for example) or in the offshore waters. If you wildlife spotting at the coast then please remember to take suitable beach safety precautions such as those recommended by the Northumberland Coast AONB.  These include:

  • Letting someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back
  • Taking care when walking on rocky shores as they can be very slippery
  • Checking the tide times before you set off and being careful about not being cut off by an incoming tide
  • Reading any beach safety signage provided and following any advice from lifeguards

Further details of the event can be found at https://greatnorthmuseum.org.uk/whats-on/city-nature-challenge