RFI – London, UK (April 2023)
My wife and I are going to be in London, UK for a week in mid-April. I’m looking for recommendations for mammal watching sites in the immediate area. I’ll be spending three days in Woking, SW of London, for a walrus research workshop. iNaturalist has some roe deer and hedgehog records for that area, so I’ll be trying for those species there if I have time to do so. We’ve got 4 days to play tourist outside the workshop, thus limited time overall for dedicated mammal watching as this is our first time in London and will be doing all or most of the typical tourist stops.
I am hoping to get to Richmond Park (one of the Royal Parks) some evening to look for red and fallow deer, possibly Bushy Park and/or Greenwich Park as well for the same species. If anyone can suggest a priority park of the three that would be much appreciated.
London Wetland looks like a good spot for water vole and bats. I’ll have my bat detector (Echo Meter Touch 2 Pro) with me and will be trying to use that nightly. London Wetland is also doing a bat walk on one of the nights we’ll be in London, so I’m hoping to attend that if I can make the scheduling work (we have to switch hotels that day so it might be difficult to get things lined up).
The Regent’s Park is a site where hedgehog research occurs, and is quite accessible from the downtown core area. Are there other or better places to possibly see a hedgehog?
Badger seems like a low likelihood species to pick up in London proper, but if there are any decent locations to try it would be great to hear about those as well.
Our last two nights in the UK will be spent at the Grim’s Dyke Hotel in Harrow, which I mainly picked because the grounds and gardens have muntjac deer and some neat birds. I figure that’s a good place to spend a day wandering the grounds and an evening doing the same with my bat detector. Has anyone spent any time there?
I haven’t done so yet, but I will be contacting groups like the UK Mammal Society, The London Bat group, the Bat Conservation Trust, and The People’s Trust for Endangered Species as well to see if they can offer any advice or if any relevant activities like volunteer surveys are going on while we’re in London. I’ve reviewed the various UK mammal reports and the RFIs on this site, and they’ve been helpful as well. It definitely seems as though getting further out from London would be best, but that’s not in the cards for this trip (maybe a bus tour to Stonehenge but that’s likely it).
All of the potential mammal species there will be new for me, with the exception of the introduced and ubiquitous grey squirrel (which I see daily in my yard here in Winnipeg) and red foxes (which can easily be found in my neighbourhood). So I’m very open to any suggestions of sites where I could possibly see any mammal species.
Thanks, and happy mammal watching!