The Wildlife Group are enthusiasts working to encourage the cooperation of residents in enhancing the local wildlife - by raising awareness locally of the many species of plants, birds, insects, amphibians and small mammals which share our urban habitat.
Outreach: We have an annual public lecture on a wildlife subject of local interest. Recent subjects have been: hedgehogs, foxes, owls and wildlife gardening. Lively discussions with the lecturers usually follow these talks.
Cooperation: We support other local organisations which are concerned with wildlife, such as London Wildlife Trust who administer Sydenham Hill Wood Nature Reserve, and the Sydenham Hill Station Nature Reserve. We also liaise continuously with the Dulwich Society Tree Committee.
Recording: We take part in local and national bird recording surveys - the national stag beetle survey (in which South London gardens rated very highly) and we have also taken part in the London ladybird survey.
Emergency Help: We can also advise on the care of wounded wild animals and birds; and put people in touch with organisations who will help with these cases.
Wildlife Group terms of reference (PDF)
Contact Peter Roseveare, email@example.com
We are lucky that Dulwich and South London are strongholds for the Stag Beetle (Lucanus cervus) and Lesser Stag Beetle (Dorcus parallelopipedus). Their larvae feed in rotting wood before pupating in autumn, spending the winter in the wood then emerging as an adult the following summer. The Wildlife Group ask if you can create log piles in your garden for next year's stag beetles to lay their eggs. Their larvae need at least two years before emerging as the next generation and tidy gardens are not beneficial to them, so feel free to tidy up a bit less! More details on stag beetles and making log piles can be found here.
Advice on avian flu by the Dulwich Society Wildlife Group, December 2022
We are not aware of any dead birds attributable to avian flu in Southwark. However we know that wild birds have died in the Greater London, Thames and Kent coast areas through HPAI – Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HN51) and that the disease is still with us so we should be aware of the consequences. So far it has affected 65 species of wild birds including geese, ducks, gulls, seabirds, terns and birds of prey.
This rare ring ouzel was spotted by a Dulwich resident in their garden in November 2022, this image comes from their trail camera, set up to photograph wildlife. Ring ouzels breed in the UK in the summer before wintering in Spain and northwest Africa so it is unusual to see them here in Dulwich in November. At first the resident thought it might be a leucistic blackbird but both they and our Wildlife Group are sure it's a ring ouzel. Slightly smaller than a blackbird, male ring ouzels are particularly distinctive with black plumage with a pale wing panel and striking white breast band. Look out for one in your garden!
Leave the leaves! Our Wildlife Group would like to suggest that we clear leaves from lawns and paths but leave them on open ground and in our borders so that earthworms, beetles, bees and and other invertebrates can flourish in the leaf litter. The leaves will also protect our plants and build better soil. Benefits of leaving the leaves include habitats for beneficial insects including pollinators, less water runoff, healthier soil, and less air and noise pollution. Leaving the leaves saves you time, money (free mulch!) and helps the planet. Tidying our gardens just got easier! See this short video for more.
During August and September, the Wildlife Group would like you to tell them what you see in your garden. Anything that grabs your attention: birds singing, butterflies flying, beetles beetling, insects pollinating, whatever. Just give a date and a species name if you know it (but ‘flying ant’ will do).
Watching your garden wildlife is not only enjoyable, recording your observations will help the Wildlife Group understand what we are gaining and losing in Dulwich, in the context of the climate crisis.
Email your information to our Wildlife Group at