When thinking about Greenwich's wildlife, it is important not to forget smaller species that are not as noticeable as trees or birds.
For example, you could look out for the six species of grasshoppers and crickets that have been recorded in the park. If you listen quietly in grassland areas, you may hear the characteristic buzzing and chirping calls of these creatures. The Oak bush cricket is particularly distinctive; this common species lives in trees and is alone among our crickets in that, instead of rubbing its wings together to make its call, it rapidly stamps one back leg on a leaf, creating a unique drumming sound.
We are still in the process of learning more about Greenwich Park's invertebrate communities. We are grateful for the support of the Friends of Greenwich Park in funding two specialist surveys.
A spider survey was completed in 2003, recording 92 species recorded in the park plus a further 11 in Vanbrugh Hollows, just outside the park boundary. This is a rich spider fauna with several species not found elsewhere in SE London. One of the four nationally notable species found was also a new record for London - Nigma puella an attractive small green spider with a distinctive red mark on the back of its abdomen. Spiders may not be a favourite attraction for most visitors, but they are of great ecological importance and a good indicator of the quality of grassland and other habitats.
Butterflies, with their striking colours, are popular amongst visitors. Fourteen different species are found in Greenwich Park, seven of which can be seen regularly. Look out for grassland species like the meadow brown, Essex skipper and small copper, amongst shrubberies and trees for gatekeeper, speckled wood and holly blue. You will also see various whites, peacock, red admiral, comma and others.