It’s fun and easy to make and anyone can join. From noon Saturday 18 June to noon Sunday 19 June, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is asking the people of Yorkshire to spot, count and record the creatures in their outdoor areas – starting with its checklist of 30 creatures large and small.
Rachael Bice, chief executive of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, said: “Every single garden, courtyard, planter and patch of scrubby grass is home to wildlife – you’ll be surprised at what you see once you start looking.
Last year more than 4,200 people went outside to secretly observe, count and record wildlife and reported nearly 15,000 Yorkshire creatures.”
Blackbird, wood pigeon and house sparrow were the three most recorded species in last year’s Creature Count, along with robin, starling, blue tit and dunnock in the top 10.
Garden snail, buff-tailed bumblebee and honey bee represented the invertebrates among the most commonly recorded creatures.
Participating in the Great Yorkshire Creature Count is good for the outdoors and spending time in nature is great for mental health and well-being.
dr Amir Khan, Vice President of The Wildlife Trusts and Bradford GP said: “Our outdoor spaces are a lifeline for wildlife and are also vital to improving our own health and well-being.
“By noticing and recording the wildlife where you live, you are helping nature and our vision to create a wilder Yorkshire.”
There are more gardens than nature reserves in Britain, and they provide important corridors, nesting sites and shelters for many of our beloved creatures. But nature needs us.
With the destruction of their habitats and the increasing pressure of the climate catastrophe, even our once widespread creatures such as the common frog or the garden bumblebee are declining.
The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has a vision of a wilder Yorkshire, where our towns and countryside are connected and rich in wildlife.
It challenges its supporters to learn more about how many different creatures make themselves comfortable, how they can be protected and how wildlife friendly our gardens are.
Helen Pedley has had an interest in nature since she was a child – particularly birds and flowers – AND the Great Yorkshire Creature Count gave her the opportunity to sit, observe and immerse herself in the wildlife of her garden.
She said: “I found it really easy to take part – the spotter sheet is a great help for the most common things you will see.
“It’s so easy to upload your recordings to the website. If it’s not on the sheet, most people can just snap a photo with a phone, and the amount of information I got from the iNaturalist app was immense.
“Even if you look at a flower bed for 15 minutes on your lunch break, seeing something beautiful in a flower or butterfly still gives you that little mental pick-me-up, but having more time can expand your knowledge.
“There are ups and downs in wildlife. There have been busy times and quiet times, and I’ve seen how responsive nature is to things in the weather that we don’t even notice.”
For Linda Clarke, taking part in the Great Yorkshire Creature Count was a way to learn more about the wildlife on her doorstep.
She said: “I’m a bird watcher but the count has sparked my interest in my surroundings and made me more aware.
“I became interested in the variety of bees to look out for and started noticing all the different species of bees in the garden. To pursue this interest, I am doing a four-week Field Studies Council introductory course on bees this year.”
The Great Yorkshire Creature Count takes place during 30 Days Wild – inspiring 30 species!
Each June, The Wildlife Trusts invite people to a wild act each day with the aim of bringing people closer to nature.
Last year a record 760,000 attended 30 Days Wild, including 50,000 people across Yorkshire.
UK fans performed more than 16 million acts of ferocity; The most popular activities were wildlife viewing, al fresco dining, planting wildflower seeds and listening to birdsong.
Joining the Great Yorkshire Creature Count is really easy. Just follow these three steps:
On the weekend of the census, go outside to look for creatures and write them down on the checklist.
Submit your sightings to our website at ywt.org.uk/submit-gycc-sightings. yorkshire-wildlife-trust-great-yorkshire-creature-count