Protecting Islington’s birds
Islington resident Esme Ashe-Jepson is the woman behind the first Big Izzy Bird Watch, taking place on 5 May. Passionate about wildlife, Esme has a master’s degree in biodiversity, evolution and conservation from UCL and approached Islington Council to set up the bird watch.
She says: “The council was initially interested in just focusing on New River Walk, but by covering a number of green spaces we will get a better understanding of the wildlife here. Islington is among the boroughs with the least amount of green space and so it’s important for us to learn how our borough’s small green spaces work to support nature.
Esme will be comparing the results of the Big Izzy Birdwatch with Greenspace for London data and RSPB data for the London area. Hopefully it will help show if any bird species are above or below the average and help the council plan the next steps to support them.
“By studying birds we can also get an insight into other wildlife,” says Esme. “I saw 13 different species of birds in New River Walk when I sat for a preliminary study, which is a really good sign.”
Everyone can do the bird watch, no experience is needed, although children must be accompanied. You will be asked to sit on a bench for two minutes to let the birds get used to your presence, then you observe and record your sightings for the next 45 minutes.
Three surveys are taking place on the day and you are free to participate in as many, or as few surveys as you like.
The first starts at 10am in Asteys Row, the second at 11.15am in New River Walk, and the third at 12.30pm at St Paul’s Shrubbery. More details are here.
If you have more questions please call Chris from Islington’s greenspaces team on 07825098457.