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City Nature Challenge 2019

For the first time, North East England is joining a global competition to find out which place can record the most wildlife sightings, discover the most species and engage the most people.

The City Nature Challenge is a bioblitz-style event that encourages everyone to get outdoors and look for nature. 2018 saw 68 cities from five continents compete, with San Francisco running out overall winners.

This year's competition takes place from 26-29 April and ERIC NE are working alongside Great North Museum: Hancock and Natural History Society of Northumbria (NHSN) to organise the North East's entry.

Participating is as easy as downloading the iNaturalist mobile app and using it during the competition dates to record and photograph any signs of wildlife. Plants, animals, fungi, droppings and tracks are all acceptable sightings but captive animals and garden plants are not.

Anyone can take part regardless of ability - the extensive community of iNaturalist users helps others to identify unknown species. The app also geotags photographs automatically. The North East England City Nature Challenge will accept sightings recorded anywhere in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, County Durham and Teesside.

NHSN has organised a bioblitz at its Gosforth Park Nature Reserve from 10am to 3pm on Saturday 27 April. However, other local groups are urged to get involved and organise their own wildlife spotting events. Individuals can also take part in the challenge and contribute their sightings to the team effort.

For the latest news on events that are taking place and instructions on how to use the app check out the details on the Great North Museum's website.