City residential streets offer an opportunity to give back to nature, making changes to make them a habitat for wildlife. Our study investigated the behaviour of rewilding urban private gardens.

For the attention of: Urban leaders at both regional and local levels

The problem: Londoner’s can adapt, change and transform, their gardens to positively impact on biodiversity. This behaviour require a conscious effort to reverse the trend of loss of green space. London’s residential gardens offer an opportunity to increase biodiversity by making small adaptions to turn them into a habitat for wildlife. Altering these spaces to accommodate nature could significantly contribute to London fulfilling its aims as a ‘National Park City’.

What we did and why: This research aims to investigate rewilding behaviours in relation to changes to private gardens within Greater London to improve biodiversity. This research will synthesise the existing literature on intent-orientated urban rewilding; conduct mixed methods research including interviews and a quantitative survey to understand the capabilityopportunity and motivational factors influencing urban rewilding behaviour; and develop an intervention strategy to change behaviour in relation to adaptations to urban private gardens.

What our study adds: With urbanisation increasing coupled with a worrying trend in the reduction of vegetated green spaces in London, facilitating behaviour change in the rewilding of London’s private gardens is important to support biodiversity; this research project contributes to this important topic.

Implications for city policy and practice: The results of this research will allow urban leaders, local and regional, to identify approaches to improve the rewilding of urban private gardens to improve biodiversity. In London, altering such spaces to accommodate nature could significantly contribute to London fulfilling its aims as a National Park City.

For further information: 

Rewild My Street providing guidance for people wishing to adapt their homes, gardens and streets to encourage wildlife.

Full research article:

A study protocol to understand urban rewilding behaviour in relation to adaptations to private gardens by Justin Webb & Siân Moxon. City Know-how editor: Marcus Grant.