Amateur naturalism can be considered a kind of environmental citizenship arising from a close relationship
with nature. Amateur naturalism is also a form of serious leisure, where participants are classified according
to their skills and level of commitment. There are differences between different specializations in amateur
naturalism in the proportion of women and types of activities but, in Finland, female amateur naturalists are
generally in the minority. In this article, I discuss women’s lesser participation in amateur naturalism and its
possible causes. The discussion is based on material collected among amateur naturalists in the Tampere
region in south-west Finland. It seems that there are no formal barriers to women’s full participation in
amateur naturalist activities. However, the public image of e.g. birdwatching as competitive leisure activity
does not attract women as much as men. An implicit ladder of esteem structures the naturalist society,
and trust determines whose knowledge counts. Many female amateur naturalists are on the outskirts of
the community, and thus may not be aware that acknowledgement presupposes demonstrable knowledge.
I argue that, instead of exclusive classifications of amateur naturalists, it is more productive to focus on
their heterogeneity and the possibilities of emerging environmental citizenships.