The power of citizen science

24 May 2023

On Thursday 1 June, the North York Moors National Park hosts its first ever family BioBlitz event, with visitors challenged to find and identify as many species as possible in the grounds of either Danby Lodge or Sutton Bank National Park Centres. The Wild Wild Quest is a free, drop-in activity that helps contribute to the biggest citizen science project that National Parks have ever undertaken.

Grasshopper find by Tammy Andrews

Help the National Park’s ecologists and conservation teams learn more about the plants and animals that live in the North York Moors. Get involved with riverfly studies, bird watching and worm charming, meet local wildlife experts and discover the special habitats on your doorstep.

Rachael Poole, Volunteering Development Officer at the North York Moors National Park, said:

“We’re marking the start of Volunteers’ Week on 1 June by inviting as many families as possible to get involved with our Wild Wild Quest.

“Not all types of volunteering require a long-term or regular commitment. Every time you leave your home you can contribute to important citizen science research just by identifying and reporting the different species that you see. The Wild Wild Quest will help teach families about the types of life they might find in the woodland, grassland, wetland and heathland habitats of the North York Moors, as well as how they can contribute their sightings to the Look Wild project.”

A BioBlitz is a type of scientific study that takes place against the clock. It often sees wildlife experts and the wider public work together to find and identify as many species of plants, animals and fungi as possible within the set time limit. In addition, the Wild Wild Quest will introduce participants to the National Parks UK Look Wild project, which people can contribute to at any time and wherever they are.

Grasshopper by Tammy Andrews

The Wild Wild Quest is a free, family-friendly event which will allow participants of all ages to connect with nature in a new way. Children will collect a Wild Passport on arrival, then visit all the habitat zones to earn stamps along the way.

The Wild Wild Quest takes place from 11am until 3pm at both Sutton Bank National Park Centre near Thirsk, and Danby Lodge National Park Centre near Whitby.

For more information, please visit


Media contact

Nina Beadle

Communications Officer, North York Moors National Park Authority

01439 772577

About the Look Wild project

Look Wild is the first ever citizen science project to focus on the wildlife and biodiversity of the UK’s 15 National Parks. From the seasoned naturalist to the first-time visitor, everyone can help by recording the different species of plants and animals they encounter during their trip.

The North York Moors, along with the UK’s 14 other National Parks, have established the Look Wild project so that they may harness the public’s love and enthusiasm for the great outdoors and use it to help enhance and protect these precious ecosystems. Everyone who takes part will learn more about what they are seeing and contribute to real, on-going scientific research. The iNatualist app on which the project runs can be used anywhere, so people can enjoy learning about the natural world around them no matter how remote their location. For younger children, the ‘Seek’ app provides a fun and safe way for them to photograph and identify any insect, flower or fungus they may come across on their adventures. For more information, please visit

The North York Moors National Park

The North York Moors is a beautiful landscape of stunning moorland, ancient woodland and historic sites. Created on 28 November 1952, it become Britain’s sixth national park. Covering an area of 554 square miles (1,436 square kilometres) the National Park has 26 miles of coastline, two national nature reserves, 840 Scheduled Monuments and over 3,000 listed buildings, attracting an estimated 7.7 million visitors a year.

The National Park has two visitor centres, Danby Lodge National Park Centre and Sutton Bank National Park Centre, providing opportunities for cycling, walking, eating, picnicking, shopping, crafts and wildlife-watching. The centre in Danby also houses the Inspired by… gallery, which features regularly changing exhibitions by artists who draw their inspiration from the North York Moors.

The North York Moors National Park Authority works with a wide variety of people to care for this beautiful corner of Yorkshire, providing apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities with nearly 14% of staff being apprentices from local families.

To view other press releases and for further information about the North York Moors National Park, please visit

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