There are over 70,000 species found in the UK, according to the Natural History Museum, so it’s no surprise that learning about wildlife can be daunting and discouraging to anyone wanting to connect to their local environment. In these photo stories, Amira and Kerry respond to not knowing much about local wildlife and not knowing where to start if you did want to find out, as an issue facing younger people and their connection to the environment.

What Is It?

by Amira A

I think it’s important to know about the different types of wildlife that are right under your nose, it lets you appreciate them more. There are so many different species so it’s a shame to limit it to just tree, bird and plant! But it’s still difficult accessing the information that would let you know all the wonderful wildlife you’re surrounded by.

I [highlighted] the process of finding something interesting, struggling to find out what it actually is and giving up almost, but then ending it with what could be a solution that the local council implemented. Overall, I tried to show the frustration that could be felt through not recognising your local wildlife. 

It ends positively by showing a possible ‘solution’ (notice boards!) but overall it gives off a negative feeling as it highlights how easily an initial interest could fade away from not knowing where to find out more.

Learning About Local London Wildlife Can Be Done With a Mobile Phone and the Great Outdoors

By Kerry Farrelly 

The more people who are interested in the environment and nature, the more people and the government will take action to protect it. It’s important for young people who may feel disconnected with nature to have a simple and accessible way to gain some understanding because nature has so many benefits, for example our mental and physical health. Not knowing where to start if a young person wanted to learn about London’s wildlife is likely to be daunting and discourage young people from trying. It’s paramount that young people spark an interest and are passionate about nature because we are the generation that needs to protect it.

I wanted to show the different ways that I personally have connected with my local wildlife. I first captured a photo of a red admiral, a common butterfly in London and then looked it up in a book on Britain’s insects, where general information about habitat, seasonality and food sources was given. I wanted to show that there is a range of ways to learn about nature by yourself, so I included books, which I found in a charity shop, a plant identification app that is free to download and gives accurate identification of plants from a simple photo and posters which are often on display at sites across London, highlighting species that specifically use that site. I also wanted to show that once you get started, you can meet likeminded people and share local knowledge. Volunteering is a great way to meet these people and not only do you help the environment, you are likely to meet people who share their knowledge on the local wildlife.

I used a positive angle to try to show that although it can be daunting, learning about local wildlife alone from scratch is not impossible, and you don’t have to become an expert in every species and habitat. I think that showing solutions is more encouraging than just highlighting the problem. I did want to show more of the problem, but it was difficult to find inspiration and generate ideas around how to capture confusion, anxiety and low confidence around local nature knowledge.


This piece was created by young people during our online delivery of the Wild Action Programme with the London Wildlife Trust. The Wild Action Programme is one strand of the Keeping It Wild Project

This project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and this particular activity strand was supported by the George Bairstow Charitable Trust and Investec 

Banner image taken by Kerry during this Wild Action Programme