London Natural History Society The place for wildlife in London

London Natural History Society - The place for wildlife in London


The London Natural History Society comprises of a number active sections focussing on specific taxonomic groups or wildlife sites.

Ecology is the study of habitats, the organisms that live there, and the inter-relationships between them. It also encompasses the relationships between organisms and their physical environment.

Entomology is the study of insects - a very large and diverse class of organisms that lies at the base of many food chains. For example many species of birds depend on insects for food. Insects are among the first groups of organisms to respond to climate change, hence the continuing importance of the monitoring and recording of changes in insect distribution.

Habitats within our region range from ruderal habitats, post-industrial brownfield sites, nature reserves, chalk downland, woodland, lowland heath and wetlands. All of these habitats have their own sets of typical species.

The London region is a suprisingly good one for the study of ecology and entomology. Mammals, from rats to bats, are well represented in our region and the variety of habitat types means that there is a wide range of invertebrate life - bees, beetles, moths, butterflies, grasshoppers, dragonflies, spiders, millipedes and much more.

London’s rivers and canals have fishes, plant life, crabs and aquatic invertebrates. The Thames estuary area, in addition to its importance for bird life, is a 'biodiversity hotspot' for invertebrates. Our interests are wide, covering all aspects of ecology and natural history. Although birds and plants have their own LNHS sections these are also integral to what is studied by our section. Woodland, for example, is home to plants, birds and insects and all are inter-connected in the ecology of the site, along with its geology.

Online Resources

A large selection of photographs can be viewed on the section's FlickR site

Trip reports of a selection of our events are found here.
The Articles section of this website also includes useful information.

Indoor Meetings

The section organises indoor meetings with diverse themes covering the monitoring of species, nature conservation and other subjects of interest in the natural world. These meetings are also an opportunity to meet others interested in the subject under discussion. They are usually held in central London on a weekday evening. Full details are in the Programme.

Field Meetings

Field meetings usually take place on a Saturday or Sunday. They can be full or half day events. Full joining instructions are in the Programme.

Our field meetings offer an excellent opportunity to learn about groups such as Butterflies, Beetles, and Spiders; to learn and develop ID skillls; and to get a feel for the range of species you might expect to find in each type of habitat. Meetings are generally led by local experts and are suitable for members with all levels of knowledge including complete beginners.

Links With Other Organisations

The section has links with other organisations including the Amateur Entomologists Society (AES) and the British Entomological and Natural History Society (BENHS). We work with BENHS to organise the annual Brad Ashby Memorial lecture in September that is attended by members of both societies.

A Welcome to All

Most of the section’s activities are open to visitors from within and outside the LNHS. If you come to a meeting and are not a member of the Society please make yourself known to the leader or organiser. You do not have to be an expert to join in, and will soon learn as you take part in our Society’s activities.

We all enjoy the experience of meeting friendly people with a wide interest in the natural world.


The section’s recorders collect, validate and input data to their records sent to them by members of the Society and others. Some of these data may be collected on field meetings, or by individuals who survey on their own.

Special Projects

The E&E section sponsors special project from time to time. Currently we are running a special project to re-record London's Butterflies. More details of this exciting and worthwhile project are on the London Butterfly Atlas project webpage.

Wildlife portraits

The Dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius) is a scarce nocturnal mouse that requires open wooded habitats such as hazel coppice. In our area it is found in North Kent and the London Boroughs of Croydon and Bromley. It is vulnerable to changes in woodland management or fragmentation of its habitat.

Photo © Peter Gasson

White Bryony (Bryonia alba) is a member of the melon family. It is the sole host for a species of leaf miner, and its pollen is food for a species of solitary bee. Here photographed growing near London Bridge Station.

Photo © Marc Carlton

The Wasp Spider (Argiope bruennichi) has spread throughout the London area in recent years. This could be because of climate change, or because of an increase in grasshoppers and crickets, its preferred food, due to changes in grassland management regimes.

Photo © Mick Massie

Sometimes called 'London's Butterfly', the Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) favours woodland edge and woodland glade habitats. In recent years it has become one of the most frequently-seen butterflies in the London area.

Photo © Peter Gasson

This red ferny outgrowth on the stems of wild roses is called a 'Robin's Pincushion' (Diplolepis rosae). It is caused by a gall wasp that lays its eggs in the stems or buds of rose bushes.

Photo © Kerstin Luechow