Symposium: Healthy gardens for people, plants and wildlife

One of the biggest threats facing wildlife on a global scale is the speed and extent of habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation. As urbanisation and agricultural intensification increase with human population growth, natural refuges for wildlife are not only decreasing in size and connectivity, they are also at a greater risk of damage through anthropogenic factors such as pollution and climate change. Consequently, there is a need to recognise domestic gardens as an important but often overlooked resource for many wildlife species. Furthermore, there are potential benefits to human health and well-being because domestic gardens provide an opportunity for people to connect with wildlife. This one-day event will explore the benefits and potential risks that garden habitats can represent to plant, animal and human health, with speakers discussing best-practice for wildlife friendly gardening, and highlighting a One Health approach to maximise the advantages of these unique habitats.

This symposium will draw upon and disseminate the research of the Garden Wildlife Health (GWH) project and the Wildlife Gardening Forum (WLGF). GWH is a collaborative project between ZSL, the British Trust for Ornithology, Froglife and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. As a citizen science project, GWH appeals for reports of sick and dead wildlife from members of the public to conduct disease surveillance for amphibians, garden birds, hedgehogs and reptiles across Great Britain, alongside raising public awareness of disease threats and providing best practice mitigation advice. The WLGF is a charity with the aim to inspire and encourage everyone to garden with wildlife in mind. Its main priorities are to help gardeners and decision makers understand the significance of the garden resource for biodiversity, sustainable urban development and human health and wellbeing, and provide evidence-based advice to help people manage their gardens sympathetically for themselves and for wildlife.

This event will provide an excellent opportunity to engage with a varied audience of students, academics, members of the public with an interest in science-based recommendations for wildlife-friendly gardening, representatives of animal welfare and conservation NGOs, ZSL Fellows and policymakers. The goal is to share findings on optimising garden habitat management to safeguard the health of all parties, whilst identifying areas for future research and collaboration.


This event is now sold out and registration is closed.


Full Programme and Abstracts

PDF icon Healthy Gardens For People Plants and Wildlife - full programme and abstracts - 24 Oct 2019 (1.31 MB) (1.31 MB)

Programme Overview

PDF icon Healthy Gardens for People, Plants and Wildlife - programme overview - 24 Oct 2019 (152.28 KB) (152.28 KB)





  • This symposium will take place in the Huxley Lecture Theatre, Main Meeting Rooms, Zoological Society of London, Outer Circle, Regents Park, NW1 4RY
  • Nearest underground station: Camden Town
  • Nearest bus stop: Number 274
  • Please find further information on directions here