Microvolunteering

Giving everyone the opportunity to make a positive difference in the Broads National Park.

common darter dragonfly copyright chris hill

Have you ever wanted to do some volunteering in the Broads, but just don’t have enough time? Microvolunteering is something you can do in bite-size chunks and at times that are convenient to you. It’s your chance to get involved and support us helping to look after our precious Broads landscape, wildlife, cultural heritage and navigation.

Why not check out the opportunities below and give microvolunteering a try? You only need a couple of minutes for some, others take just a few hours, or a day. It’s up to you how much time you want to put in.

What microvolunteering can I do?

There are lots of easy microvolunteering activities to take part in either using your mobile phone or when out and about in the Broads National Park.

iNaturalist Look Wild Project

The Broads Authority is taking part in the UK National Parks Look Wild Project.

All you need to do to get involved is download the iNaturalist app from Google Play or the App Store, join the UK National Parks Look Wild Project, and start uploading photographs taken with your mobile phone of plants, insects, butterflies, moths and other wildlife that you spot in the Broads.

Everyone using iNaturalist can see any photos that you upload via the app and can help to identify what it is. If you know your stuff you can help others with their identifications. Once enough people have agreed exactly what the photo is of, the project sends these records through to iRecord where our National Park ecologists and species recorders can analyse all the records and check the health of biodiversity in our National Parks, helping to inform management decisions that will conserve habitats for our precious wildlife.

Other environmental monitoring and surveys

Take your pick from these microvolunteering opportunities helping to record our UK wildlife through special events or other citizen science surveys that you can take part in all year round.

Birds

Butterflies, moths and dragonflies

Reptiles and amphibians

Mammals

Bees

  • UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme – spend either 10-15 minutes doing a Flower-Insect Timed (FIT) count or adopt a 1km square to be responsible for
  • Bumblebee Conservation’s BeeWalks – walk a fixed route once a month from March to October counting bumblebees, identifying species and noting whether they are queens, workers or males

Algal blooms

Fungi

  • Plant Life’s Waxcap Watch – spend an hour or two from September to the first winter frosts helping to record waxcaps and other fungi

Ladybirds and other beetles

Wildlife in burial grounds

Green Clean

Think you don’t have enough time to microvolunteer? Why not try these 2-minute tasks that are easy to do while you’re out and about in the Broads, by the coast, or in your local neighbourhood. You can do this while you’re taking the dog out for a walk, walking to work, or when you’re already out and about with your family or friends enjoying the countryside or the Broads waterways.

2-minute path clean

  • Did you know that a discarded paper bag lasts for a month, an apple core for 8 weeks, banana skins for 2 years, plastic bags for 10-20 years, plastic bottles for 450 years and chewing gum, wait for it, for 1 million years? Whenever you’re on a walk in the Broads, or in your local neighbourhood, why not take a bin bag with you and pick up a few pieces of rubbish on your way, disposing of it responsibly when you’ve finished. You’ll be helping to clean up our countryside and urban footpaths.

2-minute beach clean

  • Did you know that we have some coastline within the Broads National Park area? If you’re visiting the coast at Winterton or Horsey, or any other parts of our UK coastline, then remember to take along a bin bag and collect a few pieces of rubbish that you spot, making sure to dispose of any rubbish you collect responsibly. Also check out the safety tips so make sure you’re safe while carrying out your 2-minute beach clean microvolunteering.

Recreation and footpaths

FixMyStreet

  • With around 200 miles of public footpaths in the Broads you could try a spot of microvoluntering while out enjoying your walks. Perhaps you spot an overgrown path or a broken stile or gate or a missing signpost. You can report what you see via the FixMyStreet app which will alert Norfolk or Suffolk County Councils, the Highways Agencies responsible for Public Rights of Way in the Broads, of any issues.

Slow Ways Project

  • This huge new project is creating a network of walking routes that connect all of Britain’s towns and cities. 7,000 Slow Ways have been identified, but now they need to be walked, reviewed, and verified by volunteers. All you have to do to get involved is sign up to the project, pick a route, get walking and answer all the questions on the survey.

Don’t Lose Your Way

  • The government has set a deadline of 2026 to submit historical, documentary evidence for footpaths that aren’t currently included on the official public rights of way network. This is your chance to help the Ramblers Association prioritise which of the 49,000 miles of footpaths already identified and help them get these precious footpaths saved for future generations to enjoy.