Guest blog: iSpot and the Garden Bioblitz

This weekend (31st May to 1st June) marks the return of the Garden Bioblitz across the UK. Hopefully lots of people will be taking part and having fun finding out what’s living in their gardens! You can find out more on the Garden Bioblitz website or chat to the team on Twitter @GardenBioblitz or on our Facebook event page.

Red admiral butterfly on buddleiaWe couldn’t run the event without the kind support from our friends at iSpot, who have been a huge help with identifying everyone’s finds. For my first ever guest blog on here, Martin Harvey from iSpot gives a few tips about using this great resource to help you identify the wildlife you might find during your own Garden Bioblitz:

iSpot and the Garden Bioblitz

There’s lots of wildlife to discover in your garden or park, but it’s not always easy to work out the names of all the different species. iSpot’s role is to put you in touch with lots of knowledgeable and friendly naturalists who can help identify any plants and animals that you’re not familar with. The iSpot community can usually give you a prompt response, often with an hour or even minutes! And if you’re good at identifying wildlife yourself you’re in a good position to help others – please join in if you can spare the time.

iSpot screengrab

If you’re seeking help with identifying your garden species then add your observation, ideally with a clear photo, to To do this you need to be registered on iSpot (it’s free!), and then you’ll be able to click on “Add an observation”. Make sure you add the tag in the “descriptive tags” box when you add your observation: #gbb14

Once your identification has been confirmed on iSpot, it’s best to add the record to the Garden Bioblitz iRecord page so it can be added to the Garden Bioblitz total.

Cockchafer at Blaise, Bristol Common blue butterfly

In 2013 over 800 garden bioblitzers got help from iSpot (see, adding their observations to the total pool of over quarter of a million wildlife sightings for over 8,000 different species on the site.

To see all the identification queries that are being added to iSpot this year go to:

Garden Bioblitz is a fantastic way to enjoy finding out more about the wildlife that surrounds you, and iSpot is pleased to be part of this year’s event. Hope you enjoy watching wildlife wherever you are!

Hoverfly (Sphaerophoria scripta) Garden snail (Helix aspersa)

iSpot is a project from The Open University. For more information about iSpot and how to make use of it see

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