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Our views on the big issues affecting London's wildlife

Fox at Stoke Newington

Here are our policies and position statements covering some of the biggest issues affecting wildlife in London:

Foxes in London

The red fox is the most widespread and abundant wild carnivore in the world. Found throughout UK, it is very common in London, more so than in the surrounding countryside. This is not surprising considering how adaptable red foxes are when faced with a changing environment. Many people living in London take great pleasure in seeing a truly wild animal in their neighbourhood. However, sometimes foxes can become a nuisance, and inevitably there are calls to remove or cull them. Read our policy on foxes here

 

Badgers and bovine TB

The badger, commonly found in many outer suburbs of London, can be described as one of Britain’s best loved and iconic mammals. However, they have become central to a controversial political and scientific debate surrounding the presence and spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in cattle. This is leading to calls for culls and eradication of badger populations from areas where bovine TB is present, despite conflicting evidence as to whether this would work. Read our policy on badgers and bovine here.

 

Ring-necked parakeets

The ring-necked, or rose-ringed, parakeet has been introduced into the wild in Britain as a result of escapes and deliberate releases of captive birds. Now commonly found in parts of London, where its bright plumage and noisy calls have brought it to the attention of many, there are some concerns as to whether they might be impacting on other wildlife. Read our policy on ring-necked parakeets here.

 

Magpies and crows

Corvids (crows, magpies, and allies) are medium to large bird that have adapted well to urban environments largely because of their intelligence. However they are sometimes viewed as pests or problematic species, primarily because they will take eggs and nestlings of other birds; magpies in particular are often viewed with suspicion or contempt for their behaviour. There are often calls to control them because of their perceived impacts on more popular species. Read our policies on magpies and crows here.

 

Gardens

Almost a quarter of London is made up of gardens, which represent an important resource for the Capital’s wildlife. Gardens can provide vital habitats for wildlife and a strong network of wildlife and climate friendly gardens stretching across the Capital will provide room for species to move freely and adapt to our changing climate. They can help reduce the impacts of climate change and help to cool the city (especially in parts of London which have few other greenspaces). Read our policies on gardens here.

 

High Speed Two

In London, High Speed two's route could affect at least 18 wildlife sites between Euston and the Colne Valley, before it enters Buckinghamshire. Some of these include the Mid-Colne Site of Special Scientific Interest (an area of wetlands), Perivale Wood, and Brackenbury Cutting. Read our policy on High Speed Two here.

 

Nature reserves

London Wildlife Trust manages a portfolio of staffed and unstaffed nature reserves across London that it has acquired since its inception. These are managed as a means to directly conserve habitats and species, to engage people with nature through direct experience, volunteering and outdoor education, and as a way to demonstrate best practice in order to influence land-owners and others. This policy identifies the purposes of our reserves, and highlights the principles of practice (detailed in the Nature Reserves; Management Policies) that may take place on them and the activities we encourage. Read our policy on Nature Reserves here. 

 

London's Green Belt

London’s Green Belt is integral to the vision of London as a sustainable, green World City based on the concept of a strategic network of open spaces. It provides both a buffer and a link between suburban London and the wider countryside, helping to prevent further urban sprawl. It also serves to support ecological networks and significant green corridors for wildlife, offering people the chance to enjoy the countryside on London’s doorstep. Nevertheless, the quality of land within the Green Belt is variable, and demands for development continue to place pressure upon it. A new vision for the Green Belt is required to make it fit for purpose in the 21st century. Read our policy on London's Green Belt here.

 

Environmental policy

London Wildlife Trust is the only charity dedicated solely to protecting the capital’s wildlife and wild spaces engaging London’s diverse communities through access to our nature reserves, campaigning, volunteering and outdoor learning. London Wildlife Trust volunteers, staff and local people have worked tirelessly to protect the capitals natural spaces from development and mismanagement. Read more on our environmental policy here. 
 

Railway lineside management

There are over 800 kilometres of surface railway lines in London, of which a significant proportion support linesides with habitat of wildlife interest. These will include areas of grassland, scrub, recent woodland and wasteland communities, together with built infrastructure, such as walls and bridges that will support some plants. The linesides are subject to management by the various railway companies to ensure that they are operationally safe. However, this often leads to controversy due to the scale, timing, and /or impacts of works to local residents, which can lead to London Wildlife Trust being asked for advice or support for campaigns to stop or amend works. Read our policy on railway lineside management here.