What is micro-volunteering?
Micro-volunteering is a completely flexible form of volunteering which allows you to do good deeds by spending small amounts of time contributing to bigger projects or social action. There's no long-term commitment and people taking part in micro-volunteering require no training. Taking part in micro-volunteering projects can allow you to contribute to your local community, or to have a positive impact on a place you are visiting on a holiday or day trip.
Record interesting plants and animals
Look Wild needs you! Start your micro-volunteering adventure and join the biggest citizen science project that National Parks have ever undertaken. Are you interested in nature? Join in using the free iNaturalist app and start identifying plants and animals to help us protect the North York Moors by supporting our biodiversity. Don't worry if you don't know much about wildlife, the iNaturalist app and the community will help you identify species.
Here's how to get involved:
- Download the iNaturalist app to your mobile (you can use it without mobile reception or wifi), or use the iNaturalist website. Create an account and sign up to the National Parks UK Look Wild project.
- Be outside and take photos of any plants, insects or animals that you find interesting. You can also record sounds and upload these too. Try to capture as much detail as possible without disturbing what you're photographing.
- Upload the photos to the app with details of when and where you saw it. The app will then help you identify what you have seen, and this will be confirmed by the iNaturalist community. Your record will be added to the Look Wild project to help us understand more about our wildlife and look after it better.
All observations are really important, no matter how small or large, and help us understand wildlife on a local and national level, and inform future conservation work. This is one all the family will enjoy, whether you're beginner or not, get involved. Happy snapping!
For our younger contributors, we recommend making your nature observations using the Seek app.
Get involved with monthly challenges and earn badges for your observations! The app helps identify species for you, without the need for a wider community or social network, and it is possible to sync any sightings to iNaturalist afterwards.
Join a citizen science project
|Project title||Who can take part||When||Where||Time commitment||More information|
|Big seaweed search||Everyone||All year round||UK Coastline||About one hour||NHM website|
|Big garden birdwatch||Everyone||26-28 January 2024||UK gardens or a local green space||One hour||RSPB website|
|Star count||Everyone||February 2024||Anywhere in the UK||Less than one hour||CPRE website|
|Garden butterfly survey||Everyone||All year round||Any garden or allotment||Submit sightings at least once a month||Butterfly conservation website|
|North York Moors bat detection study||You need to be able to collect and return equipment to Sutton Bank National Park Centre||Open now||West of the North York Moors and the Howardian Hills AONB||Two visits to your detection site (for installation and removal of equipment), four nights apart.||British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) website|
Two-minute beach clean
Sadly carelessly chucked-away rubbish is still found throughout the National Park. A simple way that’s already making a difference is to take two minutes out of your day on the beach to do a quick clean up and leave it better than when you found it!
Look out for #2minutebeachclean boards and all the equipment you need at Whitby, Sandsend, Runswick Bay and Staithes. Follow the instructions and do your bit to help keep our beaches plastic-free. There’s similar equipment at YHA Boggle Hole and National Trust’s The Old Coastguard Station in Robin Hood’s Bay.
Or join Whitby Beach Sweep for one of their regular organised beach cleans up and down the coast.
Support local causes and respect special places
There's people and places within the National Park that would gratefully receive your support and ask that you visit with care and respect.
- Each year our expert band of dedicated volunteers run a programme of free guided walks that help you discover some of the best bits of the National Park, as well as learn more about the wildlife and heritage of the area. Simply make a donation when you book onto one of these walks, knowing that the contribution will go towards the care of the National Park. Our programme runs from March through to November. Walk this way.
- National Trust would like your help to repair Roseberry Topping's eroded paths by texting to donate.
- Together with the Yorkshire Seal Group and National Trust we're working hard to reduce seal disturbance on our coast. If you come across seals on your travels, please make sure you watch them responsibly.
- As an International Dark Sky Reserve it's really important we protect our dark skies for future generations to enjoy. As individuals we have a responsibility too. See our dark skies friendly lighting advice and help to reduce light pollution.