London Natural History Society The place for wildlife in London

London Natural History Society - The place for wildlife in London

About LNHS

London's biodiversity faces new challenges from climate change and development pressure. You can contribute to the conservation of wildlife in the London area by helping to record the changing fortunes of the many species that live here. Together with our historic records, this information will help us to tackle the conservation issues of the future.

Waterloo 07

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

Through our many field meetings and indoor meetings we provide opportunities for our members to develop and extend their their knowledge of London's diverse bird life. These include plenty of events that are suitable for beginners.

For many years we have been collecting and publishing a significant body of information, records and scientific papers about London's birds in our annual London Bird Report.

Bird Recorders

A full list of the LNHS bird recorders for different geographic areas can be found on the Who We Are page and contact details can be found on the Contact Us page.


For the latest sightings you can;

* Visit the London Bird News page on Going Birding

* Follow @LondonBirdClub on Twitter. You can also search Twitter using the hashtag #londonbirds

* Subscribe to the LondonBirders Yahoo Group

* Visit London Birders Wiki 

The London Bird Report

This is an annual publication that the Society has produced since 1936, containing all the significant records during the year and various other papers. These papers can be site guides, reports about weather events affecting birds, or more specialist papers. The report is issued free to members of the Society, and can be purchased by non-members. Back copies are available - see our Publications page.

Records of rare and unusual species in the London Area are considered by our Rarities Committee before being included in the London Bird Report. Details of species for which notes or a description are needed are given in our Checklist and Guide (see Bird Recording, below). A form for submitting details of an Unusual Record is also under Bird Recording. We now have a list of records for these species (Rare birds in London 1900 to 2018). This has been drawn up from printed records in past copies of the London Bird Report up to LBR 2018. Please let us know if you spot any errors in,this list, or if you have any suggestions for improving the list.

London Bird Club Talks

The London Bird Club organises a range of indoor meetings. Our indoor meetings cover a wide variety of topics, including bird identification, historical reviews of sites, and reports of foreign trips. Further details are given here.

Outdoor Meetings

The Section's field trips range from mornings out in London at sites such as Regent’s Park, to day trips to locations further afield. Most of these are to well-known reserves or other areas of importance for birds. Such areas generally have much of general natural history interest in addition to their birdlife. Write-ups of these trips are regularly published in the Newsletter. We offer plenty of events for beginners, as well and for more experienced birders.

Reading Circle

We also organise an ornithological Reading circle that circulates a series of magazines to members at reduced subscriptions.

Bird Recording

All records of ornithological interest, from LNHS members and non-members alike, are welcomed by the London Bird Club Records Committee.

1)    Our preference is that you use the on-line recording facilities provided for the club by Going Birding. You can view the latest sightings here and use the links on that page to sign up so that you can submit your records. Interesting records are shared more widely via the LBC Twitter account (@LondonBirdClub) and the London Birders Yahoo account see

2)    We can take records from the BTO’s BirdTrack system, but please use the site names, listed in our Gazetteer (spreadsheet). Note that the default setting in BirdTrack will not make your records available. You need to log in to BirdTrack and check the option ‘My details & settings’. At the bottom of that page, if it says ‘You have asked us not to forward your records to local bird recorders’, then we will not be able to obtain your records. You cannot alter this setting directly. You need to email BirdTrack and ask them to change this. 

3)    You can send your records to one of the LNHS bird recorders (see left-hand column). Please download and save the LNHS Bird Recording Form and use it to enter your records. The first line of the spreadsheet has been completed as an example. 

4)    You can enter records onto the LBC Wiki {link to }. If you do use the Wiki, please send your email address to the LBC Data Manager (see left-hand column), so that we can contact you to resolve any problems. Also please use the suggested format, and the site names in our Gazetteer (spreadsheet).

The Checklist Guide Breeding Criteria (PDF), and Checklist Guide (spreadsheet) contain the checklist of birds of the London Area in 2018 and a guide for contributors of ornithological records. Breeding criteria are included on page 11 of the PDF file. This guide is not intended to be comprehensive, and contributors are asked to use their own guidance and common sense, but it does serve as a reference point for the type of records required.

Please download the form for submitting Details of an Unusual Record (PDF). This form can be completed online, for which you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, or an eqivalent program; alternatively you can print the form and complete it manually. In either case, please send it to the Chair of the Rarities Committee as an email attachment or by post as soon as possible (see Recording Birds in side panel).

The geographical area that we cover is divided into seven bird recording areas, or 'sectors'. (The boundaries of the sectors are more or less based on the original county boundaries). 'Inner London' consists of a rectangle based on Charing Cross. See The story of the cockney sparrow for more information.

Site names, including the names of towns, villages, open spaces, etc., are listed in our Gazetteer (spreadsheet). Please use these site names, when sending in records. If you need to send in details from a site that is not listed in the Gazetteer, please give an OS Grid Reference and relevant background information about the site.


Volunteers are always wanted for the BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey (BBS). Find out more here.

Special Access to Thames Water Sites

We have an arrangement with Thames Water to license our members to use some of their sites. Approval is in place for the Queen Mary Reservoir at Ashford, with access to other sites in the pipeline. Full details on how to obtain an access permit are provided in this FAQ.

AGM Papers and Committee Meetings

The sections of the LNHS are not required to publish their AGM agenda and minutes, although these are made available at the AGM. However, if anyone would like to receive copies we are happy to share them by email (see the 'Contact us' page for details).

The LBC Committee welcome LNHS members attending committee meetings as a guest. This is especially useful for a member who is thinking of getting more involved and would like to meet the committee and get a feel for how the LBC committee operate (see the 'Contact us' page for details).