Leicestershire

Urban wildlife champion

In 1972, university lecturer and zoologist Jennifer Owen started cataloguing the species in the garden of her nondescript suburban house in Scraptoft Lane in Leicester. Over 30 years, she managed to identify 2,673 different species living in her garden, including 474 plants, 1,997 insects, 138 other invertebrates such as spiders and woodlice and 64 vertebrates including 54 species of birds and seven mammals. She claims with more time and expertise the true figure would exceed 8,000 species. This evidence she accumulated led to a groudbreaking scientific study on the importance of gardens for wildlife, changing perceptions across Britain. Here