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 allows 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.

Dingy Skipper Foss PlantationsLonghorn Beetle Riccal Dale

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!

Seek app

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

We can all get involved in helping scientists and conservationists protect our environment. Whether it’s the annual Star Count organised by CPRE, the Countryside Charity, or joining a small mammal surveys, the North York Moors, like other protected landscapes, can really benefit from the contribution of your eyes and ears!

Project titleWho can take partWhenWhereTime commitmentMore information
Big seaweed searchEveryoneAll year roundUK CoastlineAbout one hourNHM website
Big garden birdwatchEveryone26-28 January 2024UK gardens or a local green spaceOne hourRSPB website
Star countEveryoneFebruary 2024Anywhere in the UKLess than one hourCPRE website
Garden butterfly surveyEveryoneAll year roundAny garden or allotmentSubmit sightings at least once a monthButterfly conservation website
North York Moors bat detection studyYou need to be able to collect and return equipment to Sutton Bank National Park CentreOpen nowWest of the North York Moors and the Howardian Hills National LandscapeTwo 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.
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