To celebrate BBC Wildlife magazine's 60th birthday, we asked 60 people from our wonderful network of writers, presenters, photographers and conservationists to share their favourite places in the UK for wildlife. Believe it or not, five of those places are in Greater London.


London may be more famous for its urban landscapes than wildlife havens, but it doesn't mean they're not there. There are meadows, scrubland, wetlands and commons all teeming with wildlife. Vote for the one you love the most from the list below


(Voting closes 10 march 2023)

Our favourite places to spot wildlife in Greater London

Frays Farm Meadows, West London

© Dudley Miles, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
This delightful reserve is one of my favourite places. A SSSI managed by the London Wildlife Trust, its wet grazing meadows are a hinterland of sorts, bound by the Grand Union Canal to the west and the roaring A40 to the south. Frays teems with bird life and I see raptors on almost every visit. Red kites and buzzards soar, while kestrels hover metres above the shrub, anticipating an emerging woodmouse. Hobbies dart through the air in summer, the sunlight illuminating their red ‘trousers’ as they search for dragonflies along the weaving chalk stream. At the same time of year, the vegetation bursts with the songs of warblers – chiffchaffs, blackcaps and whitethroats all belt out a chorus.My first visit was my most memorable. I witnessed a spectacular emergence of mayflies rising from the stream in their thousands to fulfil their goal of breeding. I never doubt Frays’ ability to surprise.
Kabir Kaul, conservationist, writer and young ambassador for Cameron Bespolka Trust

Wormwood Scrubs, West London

© Getty Images
I am in love with a place so innocuous that, when I first stumbled across it some 25 years ago and claimed it as my nirvana, my birdy friends thought I had lost my mind. That place is Wormwood Scrubs, a 77ha park that adjoins the prison of the same name and was featured lyrically in The Jam’s Down at the Tube Station at Midnight. I have seen more than 150 species here, including regional scarcities such as meadow pipits and short-eared owls.
David Lindo, The Urban Birder

London Wetland Centre, South London

This wonderful spot, which I first visited in 2018 for the launch of the government’s 25-year Environment Plan, is creating new nature memories for me. Walking in on that cold, damp January day, my eyes were opened to a wetland in the heart of London, a place for wildlife to thrive and a deeply meditative place for people to explore. Once four reservoirs, it has been transformed into a 40ha wetland and provides a key stopping-off point for migratory birds. The view from the Peacock Tower is stunning and a great vantage point for spectacular displays, such as courting great-crested grebes. Many species have made a home here, some of which are found nowhere else in the capital. Only recently did I catch sight of a green sandpiper while on a quest to see my first bittern. No success on that visit; maybe I’ll be luckier next time.
Sarah Fowler, chief executive of WWT

Wimbledon Common, South West London

A wooden bridge / walkway helps walkers get over a small pond in Wimbledon Common, London.
I live in green, leafy Wimbledon, a suburb far removed in spirit and landscape from the hurly-burly of central London. I’m spoilt for choice where wild spaces are concerned – rural dwellers would be agog at the riches on my doorstep. But Wimbledon Common remains a perennial favourite in all seasons. Covering 460ha of green space, it’s both an SSSI and SAC (Special Area of Conservation), owing to its rich grassland and heathland, and a marvellous green lung for Londoners.
Jini Reddy, author and journalist

Great North Wood, South London

Once stretching across South London, the ancient Great North Wood today survives as a mosaic of habitats that provide oases for wildlife and green lungs for people. Stepping into its wildest corners, I feel the power of its history dancing through the trees – a reminder of its resilience. It is peace to the chaos; fresh air to the smog. Woodpeckers yaffle, firecrests trill, hedgehogs snuffle and bats soar as the moon rises. As a a self-proclaimed GNW fangirl, I implore you to discover its magic.
Chantelle Lindsay, project officer at London Wildlife Trust and CBeebies presenter
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