World Wildlife Day 2021 – learn how to connect to nature at home

Learn more about finding, recording and appreciating the wildlife on your doorstep during lockdowns.

Every year, the United Nations celebrates World Wildlife Day on the 3rd March. The day aims to encourage people around the world to celebrate and raise awareness of wild animals and plants with a different theme every year. And for World Wildlife Day 2021 the UN has attributed the theme of forests and livelihoods to align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals 1, 12, 13 and 15. However, in these times of lockdown living in Scotland where we don’t get out much, I would instead like to talk about finding, recording and appreciating the wildlife on your own doorstep!

Staying at home, doesn’t mean zero wildlife!

During lockdown, as we have had to stay at home, many people have started to notice local wildlife more. Whether in their garden or out on their daily allowed exercise round! My neighbour spotted a red squirrel in their garden which is very exciting as we are in the middle of the urban area!

So if you see something, does it matter beyond that snazzy photo for your Instagram? Absolutely.

My top tip is – if you see it, record it! Our local biological records centre NESBReC has over 1.6 million biological records and counting (over 2 million as of 2024). There are numerous uses for each of these biological records. However, some people think a species must be unique to be recorded – which couldn’t be further from the truth! Due to this many common species have far too few records. All records matter; the more records we have, the better we can understand the natural environment and track changes!

With climate change, it is increasingly important to provide havens for wildlife and nature especially in the urban environment. A network of green areas in a city can allow nature to connect over distance and of course, naturalised areas can help us mitigate common effects of climate change more effectively than hard areas such as sealed surfaces like tarmac.

And that wildlife on your doorstep needs your help.

The Aberdeen City Council Countryside Rangers Facebook page is a great resource for all things local wildlife! If you are lucky to have your own garden, the RSPB has some great tips on things you can do for nature in your own patch! You can also book onto our Wildlife Gardening Event on the 18th March 2021 as part of a great programme for Climate Week North East. You can also Get Involved with your local biodiversity, even if you don’t have a garden.

So why not go out there today on World Wildlife Day 2021, see what you can find. Record it and stop to appreciate it!  Even if that just means taking the time to look out of your window at home for 5 minutes, you might be surprised at what you can see!

Bird feeders are a great way to celebrate World Wildlife Day at home.

Siskins and bullfinches © Ian Talboys


Environmental Planner at Aberdeen City Council