Grassland Heroes and Big Bug Hunts

Grassland Heroes and Big Bug Hunts

Become a citizen scientist

Work alongside Natural History Museum’s specialist scientists and become a citizen scientist yourself.   

The Natural History Museum (NHM) are undertaking ground-breaking environmental DNA (eDNA) surveys across Brilliant Butterflies project sites, investigating the communities of insects on these beautiful chalk grassland habitats. The acquired knowledge from these surveys will inform conservation practice for invertebrate communities.  

Please note if you would like to attend the following events you need to be available to attend both the Big Bug Hunt and the Grassland Heroes course events as the two trainings are linked

Get involved 

Big Bug Hunts

Join Natural History Museum scientists during our Big Bug Hunt surveys for grassland species, including using new DNA-based sampling techniques being pioneered at the Museum. The information we gather from these surveys will help to make informed decisions on how best to conserve chalk grassland nature reserves, and help scientists understand what it is about these sites that makes them so good for wildlife.  

We will introduce you to scientific studies used on the Brilliant Butterflies project and how we investigate the communities of insects that live on these special chalk grassland habitats and you can gain insight to new research techniques that involve ground-breaking DNA sampling. 

Volunteers participating in ‘Big Bug Hunts’ can help contribute towards biological recording, helping the museum scientists with eDNA surveys in the field, learning how to record species using different eDNA survey methods. These will take place across the two of the London Wildlife Trust nature reserves included in the Brilliant Butterflies project, Hutchinsons Bank and Chapel Bank.   

Big Bug Hunt dates 2021:  

Please note there are two available dates, please only book on one of them.

Grassland Heroes and Big Bug Hunt dates 2021:  

This one day course will be based in the UK Biodiversity Centre at the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. Participants will be introduced to the foundations of how to begin identifying key groups of insects and invertebrates that we would expect to find on chalk grasslands. 

Using specimens and equipment from the Museum, along with a specialist ID guide that you can take home. The skills gained on this course will allow you to start exploring, recording and identifying insects on you own at home and further afield. You'll also get a back stage glimpse at how the scientists at the Natural History Museum work behind the public galleries.  

Please note there are four available dates to choose from, each course has a capacity of seven people. Please only book on one of the available dates: 

Please click the date links for more detailed information on the Eventbrite pages.

For more information contact Katy Potts on