Wildlife London: A Guide to Spotting Animals in the City

London is a city full of wildlife, and there are plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with nature. From Richmond Park’s deer to the 750+ species at London Zoo, there’s something for everyone. Wetland parks and city farms are also great options for those looking to explore London’s wildlife.

In this article, readers will find practical tips for exploring wildlife in London and discover more about their animal neighbors. The article also includes a guide to spotting animals in the city, making it a must-read for anyone looking to connect with nature in the heart of London.

Key Takeaways

  • London is full of wildlife, from deer in Richmond Park to the animals at London Zoo.
  • There are many opportunities to explore wildlife in London, including wetland parks and city farms.
  • This article provides practical tips and a guide to spotting animals in the city.

Wildlife in London

Richmond Park

Richmond Park is a beautiful and vast park located in Richmond, London. The park is home to a large population of wild deer that roam freely. The deer were introduced to the park when it was a royal hunting ground, and they have been living there ever since. The park is an excellent place to see wildlife, especially in spring when the fawns are born.

London Zoo

London Zoo, located in Regent’s Park, is a conservation zoo that houses over 16,000 animals from 750 different species. Visitors can see a wide range of animals, from lions to lemurs, and penguins to porcupines. The zoo is dedicated to the protection and conservation of many of the species on display.

St James’ Park

St James’ Park, located in the heart of London, is home to a unique colony of pelicans. The pelicans were originally a gift from the Russian ambassador to King Charles II in 1664, and they have been living in the park ever since. Visitors can watch the pelicans being fed every day at 2:30-3:00 pm on Duck Island.

London City Farms

London is not just a concrete jungle; it is also home to several city farms where visitors can interact with farm animals. These farms are essentially petting zoos that offer visitors a chance to get up close and personal with a variety of animals. Some of the most popular city farms include Kentish Town City Farm, Hackney City Farm, and Vauxhall City Farm.

The Sea Life Centre

The Sea Life Centre, also known as the London Aquarium, is a popular destination for fish lovers. The aquarium is home to over 500 species of animals, including sharks, tropical fish, and penguins. It is one of the largest aquariums in the world and is located in Waterloo.

Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park

Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park is a beautiful park located near the O2 Arena. The park is home to a variety of bird and insect species that are not commonly found in other parts of London. The park’s freshwater lagoons make it an ideal hunting ground for herons.

WWT London Wetland Centre

The WWT London Wetland Centre is a wetland park located in Barnes, west London. The park is a haven for birds, with many species finding a safe home among the reeds and feeding on the insects and fish that live in the water. Visitors can also watch otters being fed at 11 am and 2 pm and take wildlife tours of the park with knowledgeable wardens.

Your Animal Neighbors


London is now home to the ring-necked parakeet, which originally comes from Africa and southern Asia. The bird’s bright green feathers made it a popular pet among many people in England. However, over the years, many of these birds have escaped or been released by their owners, making them a fairly common sight among the trees of London. The ring-necked parakeet is also the UK’s only naturalised parrot. These birds are most commonly found in parks or other areas with lots of trees and open green space.


Foxes are primarily rural animals, but they have adapted to living in urban environments as well. The London Wildlife Trust estimates that there are about 10,000 foxes that call London home. The history of foxes in London is linked to the city’s development and the growth of the underground. As the city expanded, many of the foxes’ rural homes were swallowed up. However, foxes quickly learned to scavenge for food in urban areas and have been able to adapt to living alongside humans.

Rare Birds

London’s parks are home to a variety of birds, including ducks, geese, swans, and other waterfowl. Kingfishers can also be found in some areas, but they might require a bit of patience and a pair of binoculars to spot.


Pigeons are an integral part of London’s wildlife, with two main types found in the city. The wood pigeon is a calmer, cleaner bird commonly found in suburban and leafy areas of the city. The feral pigeon, on the other hand, is the dirty, gammy-legged pigeon commonly found in the city center. It’s difficult to estimate the number of pigeons in London, but some estimates put the figure as high as 3 million, nearly one for every three humans.

Practical Tips for Exploring Wildlife in London

When exploring wildlife in London, it is important to keep your eyes open and visit parks or areas of nature where animals are more likely to gather. Foxes are nocturnal creatures, so if you spot one during the day, consider yourself lucky. However, it is important not to feed any of these animals as they are scavengers and can fend for themselves. Feeding them can make them dependent on humans, which can be harmful to their survival. Therefore, it is best to simply observe and enjoy their presence from a distance.

More London Nature Guides

  • Discover London’s hidden gems with Parkland Walk Nature Trail and Reserve
  • Explore the stunning woodlands and forests in and around the city
  • Take a break from the hustle and bustle with 15 beautiful country walks near London
  • Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Mayfield Lavender’s blooming fields in Banstead.