Latest news on nature conservation and wildlife in Tower Hamlets

Our borough is full of amazing green spaces, waterways and wonderful wildlife which we should all be making more of. Courtesy of John Archer, Tower Hamlets Biodiversity Officer and font of all wildlife wisdom, here is the Tower Habitats Newsflash for June 2019.

You can also check out the Tower Habitats packed calendar of events here [PDF] and find somewhere much better than Hampstead Heath to go to when the sun is shining.

Local photographer Richard Saville has given LW permission to use some of his amazing wildlife photographs – you can see more of his work over on Flickr.

Make nests not war!

A pair of Blue Tits found a peaceful use Mudchute’s historic Second World War anti-aircraft or Ack Ack gun, raising a brood of young in a nest in its barrel. Read more and see Richard Saville’s lovely photos.

Blue Tit chick in Ack Ack gun barrel – looks a bit grumpy!

Community tree planting in parks

Trees for Cities ran two community tree planting days, attended by over 250 volunteers, in Victoria Park and Langdon Park at the end of March. An orchard of 20 fruit trees and a nut tree trail alongside the canal were planted in Victoria Park, while 39, mostly native, trees were planted in Langdon Park, with a total of nearly 70 trees in all. Read more about these community tree planting days.

City Nature Challenge 2019

The Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park brought international citizen science event City Nature Challenge 2019 to Tower Hamlets, with volunteers identifying wild plants and animals in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, Shandy Park and Swedenborg Gardens. Read more about City Nature Challenge.

Greening the Malmesbury Estate

Malmesbury Residents Association has planted a disused flower bed with over 30 species of nectar-rich flowers as the first stage of a project to green the estate, with help from a Tower habitats biodiversity grant from the Tower Hill Trust. Read more about the Malmesbury Green Project.

Tower Hamlets tops green roofs league

A report on green roofs in London, published by the Mayor of London, shows that Tower Hamlets has a greater area of green roofs than any other borough, and more green roofs per resident than all but the City of London. Read more about the Living Roofs and Walls from policy to practice report.

New meadow strips in Swedenborg Square Orchard

Trees for Cities and EastendHomes led volunteers sowing strips of wildflower meadow between the rows of trees in Swedenborg Square Orchard on the St George’s Estate. Read more about the planting day.

Canary Wharf Wildlife Photo Competition

Canary Wharf is running its highly successful Wildlife Photography Competition again for 2019, with a top prize of £1,000 in Canary Wharf Gift Cards. The competition is open to all, with an adult competition and junior competitions for those aged 12-17 and under 12. Just find it and photograph any of the numerous plant species, birds, fish, insects and small mammals which have made Canary Wharf their home using your smartphone or camera. Entries close on 27 September. Find out more about the competition and how to enter.

New pond in Burcham Street

Burcham Street Gardeners have created a new wildlife pond in their community garden, with help from a Tower Habitats biodiversity grant from the Tower Hill Trust. Read more about Project Pond.

Greening the Regent’s Canal in Mile End

Volunteers from the Lower Regent’s Coalition planted and launched rafts with 23 metres of wetland vegetation on the canal by the Gunmakers Arms footbridge, thanks to a grant from the Mayor of London’s Greener City Fund, and support from Moo Canoes and Biomatrix Water. Read more about greening the canal.

Small Blues breeding in Cemetery Park

There have been three sightings of the nationally-rare Small Blue butterfly Scrapyard Meadow in June, including an egg-laying female, indicating that there is a small breeding population this butterfly in Cemetery Park. Read more about Small Blues.

Find out more about our wonderful wildlife

For more information on these and other stories, see

If you have news on wildlife or biodiversity conservation in Tower Hamlets, please e-mail the Biodiversity Officer or phone 020 7364 7478

Oops! Mr (or Mrs) Fox looks a little embarrassed as Richard Saville catches him eyeing up his dinner.

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