We have a surprising number of animal species in England, the vast majority of which are rarely seen and little-known by most people. After a great deal of thought and discussion we decided to base Wild England’s website on an A-Z of three hundred and sixty-five animals.
We wanted our readers to know something about our native two frogs, two toads, three snakes, three lizards, three newts, seventeen bats, twenty four land mammals and ninety-four resident birds.
There is also an astounding number of native ‘small creatures’ in this country: for example, over fifty species of butterfly, close to five hundred species of beetle and nearly two and a half thousand species of moth. We have tried to give an interesting, entertaining and representative portrait of these creatures in our A-Z.
We have a huge diversity of marine wildlife around our coasts. The Basking Shark (the second largest fish in the world), an array of sea mammals (which include whales, dolphins, porpoise and seals), the exotic Leatherback Turtle, ferocious predator fish (such as the Porbeagle Shark, the Anglerfish and the Conger Eel) as well as extraordinary creatures such as the Spiny Seahorse and the impossibly long Bootlace Worm – almost unbelievably this can reach up to forty-five metres in length and can lay claim to being the longest creature in the world.
All in all we wanted to have sufficient numbers in our A-Z to provide a ‘feel’ for the subject and to encourage a sense of respectful appreciation for the sheer diversity of our wildlife: one animal for each day of the year seemed a good, intuitive basis for people to develop this feeling and appreciation, hence our decision (not an easy or arbitrary one) to limit our A-Z to three hundred and sixty-five individual animals.
We want our readers to be enthralled by our fascinating wildlife and we continually seek to portray the array of native English creatures in an attractive, interesting and fun way.