Biodiversity and Wildlife

Welcome to the biodiversity and wildlife section. Use the links on the left to explore our pages and find out more about the plants and animals that share our living space.

What is biodiversity?
Biodiversity is a term used to describe the variety of life on earth. This variety is usually understood in terms of the diversity of plant and animal species, but it also refers to differences at all other levels of the natural world, including genetics, habitats and ecosystems.

Human activity is causing the loss of global biodiversity at an ever-increasing rate. Species need to be protected from extinction as they are valuable in their own right. We also depend on huge number of plants and animals for our survival as they provide us with resources such as food, shelter and medicine. Additionally, a healthy environment helps protect us from the effects of climate change. At a local scale, parks and open spaces that are rich in wildlife are more enjoyable places to visit.

The production of Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs) has been one response to help conserve biodiversity in the UK. More information on BAPs can be found using the Biodiversity Partnership link on the left.

Biodiversity in Wandsworth
London is thought of by many as a concrete jungle. We’d like to challenge that view. Urban areas are becoming increasingly important as refuges for wildlife and you will find a variety of animals and plants if you know where to look.

We are fortunate to be one of the ‘greenest’ London boroughs, with parks, open spaces and private gardens covering 40% of Wandsworth. There have so far been a totalĀ of 1,600 different speciesĀ recorded within 27 different habitat types.

Several rare and endangered species can be found in Wandsworth, including peregrine falcons, black redstarts and stag beetles.

The Council aims to encourage more wildlife to our green spaces. We:

  • Contribute to the London Biodiversity Partnership through planning and implementing specific Action Plans for wildlife.
  • Carry out ecological management of parks and lakes to ensure wildlife-friendly habitats.
  • Maintain up to date, accurate and accessible records of the habitats and species in the borough.
  • Offer advice and coordinate actions that can help wildlife locally.

The role of biodiversity officers
Biodiversity officers protect, manage and enhance the local environment and promote awareness and understanding amongst the general public. Those within local government also work with the planning department to advise on wildlife issues associated with planning applications.

The Ecology Office at Wandsworth Council employs one Principal Biodiversity Officer and one part-time Assistant Biodiversity Officer.

Contact us
If you’d like to know more about biodiversity in Wandsworth, you can contact us using the details below:

Valerie Selby, Principal Biodiversity Officer (Monday – Thursday)
020 8871 7019 vselby@wandsworth.gov.uk

Or write to us:

Wandsworth Borough Council
Ecology Office
Battersea Park
London
SW11 4NJ