What to do

Our river surveys took place in the summer of 2016 – you can read more about that here.

You can still go out and take a look – we would love for you to keep sending in records to

Safety first

Safety is paramount when surveying around water, so we recommend that members take a friend, partner or other mammal enthusiast to minimise the risks, or if you do go alone be sure to let someone know where you’re going and how long you’ll be. Walking poles are very useful for maintaining stability in moving water and testing the depth of water before any potential forays into streams or brooks. Areas with public rights of way tend to be safer, and we advise against surveying on private land without the landowners’ permission.

What to take

In addition to walking poles, we recommend that members take a field guide or print out of mammal footprints and droppings for identification, a pair of binoculars for surveying harder-to-reach places before attempting a close up view, a camera or smartphone for taking pictures of signs, and a notebook for recording whats found. Other potentially useful equipment are a ruler and magnifying glass to aid with identification in the field. Including a ruler or other common-sized object such as a coin in any photos can help aid identification later.

Tell us what you find

All records are important, including negative ones, so we’re keen for members to let us know what they find when out and about.  Just email them, along with any photos, to and include the following:

  • Recorder name
  • Date of observation
  • Location (grid reference, postcode or placename)
  • Nature of sightings (e.g. live, droppings, signs or nothing)
  • If sending a photo, try to include a ruler or other common-sized object like a coin in the shot to aid identification
  • Any notes or comments related to the sighting