We've heard it too many times, mobile phones and tablets are creating addiction in their users. But they are, as you know, also wonderful tools. We've set to discover some apps that would make screen time something that would help us reconnect with nature and that would teach us a thing or two.
Here are our top picks for the Summer holidays (and beyond):
1. Project Noah
My personal favourite, Project Noah is a global study that encourages nature lovers to document wildlife as they encounter it: snap a picture with your phone and share it with the thousands of users using the phone app or the web community. You can go into missions, help identify organisms and learn about different species. It is also a great tool for teachers and has a special section to help you turn your students into citizen scientists. Furthermore, Project Noah encourages citizen science by linking up with existing surveys including the International Spider Survey and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network. Available for iPhone and Android devices.
This app was developed together by a group of experts that include the Bat Trust and the Zoological Society of London as part of a global bat monitoring programme covering at least 16 countries. With it you can detect and record more than 900 species of bats with the help of an ultrasonic microphone. The soundscapes are uploaded a website that identifies each of the calls to build an accurate picture of bat populations, you'd be contributing essential information for future conservation efforts. Available for iPhone and Android devices.
Not a phone app but a web tool, this is a wonderful tool for finding out about the birds in your garden or the ones you spot on your hikes. As everything RSPB it is comprehensive and highly informative.
The Nature Finder app from The Wildlife Trusts is a brilliant way to plan your wildlife excursions and learn about the animals you see while you’re there. It includes a map of more than 2000 nature reserves, lists of events, information on UK wildlife species and a directory for all 47 Wildlife Trusts. Available for iPhone and Android devices.
Similar to Project Noah, this app by the Open University lets you upload and identify your observations and share them with the community and allows you to interact with experts. Although it wasn't set as a scientific tool the project has already identified two species previously unrecorded in the UK: a bee-fly(Systoechus ctenopterus) and euonymus leaf notcher moth (Pryeria sinica).
Do you have a favourite app to connect with nature? Let us know in the comments.