The UK’s 15 National Parks have established Look Wild so that the general public visiting National Parks can map and record the different species of plants and animals they see. This growing database will help the National Parks in their collective effort to enhance these precious landscapes and support strong bio-diverse ecosystems.

To sign up to Look Wild visit https://www.nationalparks.uk/look-wild/

The Look Wild project is fun and accessible for everyone: from someone who is new to identifying plants and animals to the keen naturalist who is keeping an eye out for rare or unusual species. Everyone will learn more about what they are seeing and contribute to the scientific research. The app the project runs on can be used anywhere – from doorstep to wilderness – so people can enjoy learning about the natural world around them whether they’re walking to the local shop or hiking in the Cheviots.

A close up photograph, taken over the shoulder of a young man. He is using his mobile phone to take a photograph of moss.

Record year of visitors

Tegryn Jones, CE of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and lead National Park CEO for Volunteering, said:

“We are expecting another record year of visitors to National Parks as lockdown restrictions continue to ease. Some of these people will be new to us and we think Look Wild is a great way for them to really build a connection – with nature and with us. Not simply a visitor, but part of the team.”

Discovering Northumberland National Park

Tony Gates, Chief Executive, Northumberland National Park Authority added:

“One of the undoubted silver linings of the past difficult year has been how people have valued and sought out a connection with the countryside, with many new visitors discovering Northumberland National Park for the first time. The Look Wild project will take the connection between people and the countryside a step further, giving visitors the opportunity to learn more about their beautiful surroundings via the free to use app. By using the app, the National Park Authority and our partners will learn more and together we will help the natural environment to thrive.”

Health benefits

Recent ONS data showed that the physical and mental health benefits of nature connectedness are driving new lifestyle choices amongst the UK public. UK National Parks are keen that people get the very most out every visit to green and blue spaces. Look Wild can be part of that because using the app and taking part in the project includes all five steps to enhancing nature connectedness as identified by Derby University:

  • Senses – tuning in to nature through the senses
  • Beauty – noticing nature’s beauty
  • Meaning – nature bringing meaning to our lives
  • Emotion – feeling alive through the emotions and feelings nature brings
  • Compassion – caring and taking action for nature