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Frequently asked questions

Urban fox (credit Jamie Hall)Urban fox (credit Jamie Hall)

London Wildlife Trust is the only charity dedicated solely to protecting the capital's wildlife and wild spaces

Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. If your query is not covered below, please email enquiries@wildlondon.org.uk

 

1. Where’s the best place to see wildlife in London?

The Trust manages a fantastic range of 41 nature reserves spread across different parts of London. Outside of our reserves, we also recommend visiting:

Beam Parklands, Barking and Dagenham
Crossness Nature Reserve, Bexley
Epping Forest, Redbridge/Waltham Forest
Farthing Downs, Croydon
Fryent Country Park, Brent
Hainault Forest, Redbridge/Havering
Ingrebourne Marshes, Havering
Lower Lee Valley; especially Walthamstow Marshes, Middlesex Filter Beds, and Rammey Marsh
Oxleas Wood, Greenwich
Perivale Wood, Ealing (the second oldest nature reserve in Britain)
Richmond Park, Richmond
Ruislip Woods, Hillingdon
Selsdon Wood, Croydon
Stanmore Common, Harrow
Tower Hamlets Cemetery, Tower Hamlets
Trent Country Park, Enfield
Welsh Harp Reservoir, Brent
Wimbledon and Putney Commons, Merton/Wandsworth

2. Can you help me identify a plant/animal?

We are sadly unable to come out to your home so if possible please send in a photograph and description via email, or visit our species explorer page.

3. I’ve found an injured animal, what should I do?

Unfortunately the Trust is unable to take injured animals or offer anything other than general advice about animal care and welfare. Below is a list of wildlife hospitals in London and surrounding areas. Alternatively, the RSPCA has a 24-hour emergency injured animal line to report an animal in distress: 0300 1234 999.

4. I’ve found a dead animal, what should I do?

Large animals should be reported to your local authority, while farm animals should be reported to the police via www.gov.uk/report-dead-animal. Otherwise there is no need to report smaller animals, but it would be helpful if you could send details to Greenspace Information for Greater London, the official wildlife records centre.

5. How do I cut back a hedge/bush/tree without harming wildlife?

Cutting and pruning should always take place between September and February, outside of the main breeding period. Nesting birds are fully protected by law and it can be a criminal offence if a nest is harmed.

6. I suspect a wildlife crime has been committed, what should I do?

Call the Metropolitan Police’s Wildlife Crime Unit on 0207 230 8898 or email wildlife@met.police.uk. You can also report crime anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

7. How can I deter pests without harming wildlife?

There are a variety of methods for deterring pests that do not involve harmful chemicals or setting traps:

• Aphids: Plant chives, marigolds, mint, basil, or cilantro. Aluminum foil that reflects light on to the undersides of the leaves also scares aphids away.
• Ants: Cinnamon sticks, coffee grinds, chili pepper, paprika, cloves, or dried peppermint leaves will repel ants. Lemon juice, mint and garlic cloves are also effective.
• Cockroaches: Catnip deters them, as do bay leaves, cucumbers, and garlic.
• Foxes: No easy answer but they are attracted to the smell of rubbish and compost bins.
• Mice: Use mint plants, especially peppermint.
• Moles: Sonic deterrents are available from garden centres and may be quite successful in some circumstances.
• Mites: Plant alder, coriander, or dill, and use rye mulch and wheat mulch.
• Slugs: Place mint, lemon balm, human hair, pine needles, cosmos, sage, or parsley in your garden.
• Ticks and fleas: Put cedar chips in your garden or plant mint, rosemary, and lavender.

8. I need to carry out an ecological survey, can you help?

We employ professional ecologists to carry out surveys. Visit www.wildlondon.org.uk/ecological-surveys

9. How can I help attract more wildlife to my garden?

There is a lot of useful information on helping to attract more wildlife into your garden on the Wild About Gardens website created by The Wildlife Trusts.

10. Can I arrange a school trip to a nature reserve in London?

Absolutely! Visit our outdoor education page to find out more.