Getting closer to nature

One of the things we have been asked to do to help with SinCH’s Space for Nature work (in support of the Parish Council’s Green Infrastructure Plan) is to start recording flora and fauna with a phone app called iNaturalist.

On one level it sounds a bit “nerdy” or even boring to be cataloguing sightings but, as well as being really important, it can bring you real personal benefits by connecting you with nature!

Why do we need to map our flora and fauna?

By creating a shared record we can:

Understand and value what we already have

When we start looking closely it is great to see the range of plants and animals we have locally – it opens up a new world, as well as providing Space for Nature a baseline to work with.

Take action to improve habitat and biodiversity

When we understand what we have we can start to find ways to improve neighbouring habitats to provide the right sort of conditions for plants or food and shelter for mammals, birds and insects.

Get to know more about animals and plants

To paraphrase the author Richard Mabey – in order to know someone better it’s always good to be on first name terms – if we can name something it somehow brings it closer to us. When we bump into it again we can recognise it. In this way just using the App helps bring you closer to nature.

A Small Magpie moth is rescued from the polytunnel

Want to get more involved?

  • Download the iNaturalist App on to your phone and check out the instructions we have put together here.
  • Some other nature Apps you might find useful:
    • PlantNet – A specialist plant ID – a useful second opinion to iNaturalist as it allows you to check by leaf and well as flower. It is also good on tree bark.
    • BirdNET – A straightforward but very good bird identification app.
    • Merlin – A more complicated bird identification app if you want to go deeper.
  • Think about what you can do in your own garden or with your neighbours. Check our our Space for Nature advice here.
  • Help us improve habitats locally – contact us by email at or use the contact form on our web site at

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