The Big Forest Find

Big Forest Find

From birds and butterflies, to insects and plant life on the forest floor, join a journey of discovery through our forest landscapes as we celebrate our centenary

The Big Forest Find is England's largest survey of forest wildlife. The animal and plant life you record across our nation's woods and forests will help us protect and provide homes for wildlife, now and in the future.

Whether you're a seasoned naturalist or a family of wildlife enthusiasts, it's easy to take part.

Discover and record the wildlife in your local forest using the free iNaturalist app.

Download the app now before you visit:

Download on AppleDownload on Android

iNaturalist is an independent third party application. Please check their full privacy policy and terms of service before signing up.

You can create records in the forest without 4G or Wi-Fi. Download our full user guide and top tips.

How to take part

  • Download the iNaturalist app before you visit your local forest
  • Join the Big Forest Find project in the app
  • Use the app to take and upload photos of animal and plant life you discover
  • Get species suggestions from naturalists in the app
  • Keep recording on every forest adventure until the end of October

 Join a local Big Forest Find event



Maulden Wood, near Bedford
Event date to come...
Hobby bird


Cardinham Woods, near Bodmin
15 June 2019
Nightjar ground nesting


Haldon Forest, near Exeter
18 May 2019
Spotted Woodpecker


Westonbirt Arboretum, near Tetbury
31 May – 1 June 2019
chambers farm butterfly

Greater Manchester

Drinkwater Park, North Manchester
11 August 2019
Firecrest bird

Greater Manchester

Viridor Wood, near Wigan
18 May 2019
Orange, black and white and butterfly on leaf


Alice Holt Forest, near Farnham
6 July 2019
Slow worm


Basing Wood, near Basingstoke
20 July 2019
Barn owl


Blackwood Forest, near Winchester
8 June 2019


Bedgebury Pinetum, near Goudhurst
25 May – 2 June 2019


Sence Valley, near Ibstock
22 June and 20 August 2019


Sutton Manor, near Liverpool
Event date to come...
Osprey catching fish


Kielder Forest, near Hexham
Event date to come...
Wryneck bird


Savernake Forest, near Marlborough
Event date to come...
Wheater bird on logs


Sneaton Forest, near Whitby
17 May 2019
Bat walk


Dalby Forest, near Pickering
20 July 2019
Children with ranger

Become a Big Forest Find volunteer

Be part of the team and play a key role in your local Big Forest Find project

 Big Forest Find guidance

Why should I take part in the Big Forest Find?

By recording forest wildlife observations you are adding to national records and will improve the work our ecologists, scientists and rangers do to provide homes for wildlife. These records will increase and improve over time, helping us to care for our forest landscapes for generations to come.

Can I only take part if I have a smartphone?

No, you can attend a local Big Forest Find event and take part in a range of expert-led activities on offer.

What happens to my photos in the app?

Once you have uploaded your photos it becomes an observation and our staff, volunteers specialists and online members in the iNaturalist community can begin verifying and giving feedback on your species suggestions.

By using the iNaturalist platform we are ensuring the results are accessible to biodiversity record centres, project partners, the public, and of course our own specialist teams. 

iNaturalist is an independent third party application. Please check their full privacy policy and terms of service before signing up. 

Why does my observation need to be verified?

Species verification improves the data quality of your observation. When observations become verified, these records will be used to update national biodiversity data.

A man using the iNaturalist app

The Big Forest Find on iNaturalist

Find out what visitors to our forests have discovered and recorded