Tower Hamlets Wildlife Survey

Please help us to find out where some key species of animals can be found within Tower Hamlets. The Council is running a survey of hedgehogs, stag beetles, house sparrows, bats and frogs. If you’ve seen any of these animals in your garden, local park, school, estate or street, or anywhere else in the borough, please let us know via a simple online survey. This has been designed for us by Greenspace Information for Greater London (GiGL), the environmental records centre. Don’t worry if you’re not too sure what some of these animals look like, the survey form includes links to plenty of photos of them.

To give us details of your sightings, please follow this link to GiGL’s website.

The hedgehog is one of Britain’s best-loved animals, but it seems to be in decline, perhaps due to road casualties and changes in gardening practices. We know there are hedgehogs in parts of Tower Hamlets, such as the Isle of Dogs, but we don’t know how common they are or where else in the borough they occur.

The stag beetle (see photo above, taken by Richard Jones) is Britain’s largest beetle. Despite its fearsome appearance, it is completely harmless, and eats rotting wood. It is becoming rare across its European range, but parts of London still hold important populations of this spectacular insect. It is common just across the Thames in Lewisham and Greenwich, but seems to be very rare in Tower Hamlets, if it occurs at all. We’re keen to know where stag beetles can be found in the borough, to help focus conservation efforts.

The house sparrow is often thought of as London’s bird (the “cockney sparrer”), but it has disappeared from large areas of the city in the last few years. Despite lots of research, we still don’t know why. We want to find out which parts of the borough have lost their sparrows, and where they can still be found.

Bats are protected by law, so we want to know as much as possible about their distribution in Tower Hamlets to help us protect them.

Frogs are good indicators of general habitat quality, as they need ponds to breed and places with lots of worms and insects to feed on.

As well as knowing where you have seen these animals, we’d also like to know where they can’t be found. So if you’ve studied the wildlife in your garden, street or local park for years and never see hedgehogs or sparrows, please fill in a survey form with a negative record. To get to the survey form, click here.