Wildlife Monitoring

Grass snake found during reptile monitoringCity of London ecologist shows a Grass snake to volunteers.

Wildlife Monitoring on our Open Spaces

Our dedicated volunteer Wildlife Monitors carry out a wide variety of ecological studies each year in collaboration with the Heath's Conservation Team and Ecologists. This important work helps form the basis of our conservation work plan, and informs the careful management of the Heath's habitats. Volunteers currently get involved in surveying:

  • grass snakes
  • hedgehogs and other mammals
  • dragonflies
  • butterflies
  • invertebrates
  • hedgerows
  • trees
  • bats
  • invasive plants
  • birds

Hampstead Heath has the closest significant population of grass snakes (Natrix helvetica) to Central London. This non-venomous species is the UK's largest terrestrial reptile, and are found around freshwater habitats where they hunt amphibians. Hampstead Heath’s network of lakes and ponds make it a favourable area for the grass snakes, and our volunteers have created refuges to encourage the population and constructed hibernacula where the snakes can overwinter.

To get involved in these projects click here.