THE Birmingham and Black Country area has been rated as having the most wildlife sightings in the UK in an annual City Nature Challenge.

The challenge is a competition between cities across the world, asking citizens to see how many wild species they can spot across four days in April.

Cities were ranked according to the number of observations, number of species recorded and the number of observers.

Dudley borough formed part of Birmingham and the Black Country’s entry and was the UK’s highest scorer with 9,278 wildlife observations, finishing ahead of Liverpool (second) and Bristol and Bath (third).

The region was the fourth biggest contributor for any participating area in Europe and the 31st highest of anywhere in the world which took in regions including Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Mexico.

Locally, spotters recorded 838 different species including 532 species of plant - with the Dandelion, Common Nettle and Cow Parsley being the most recorded. Birds were also very well recorded with 95 species spotted.

The top three were robin, blackbird and woodpigeon but there were also some interesting sightings including Hobby, Spoonbill and Spotted Flycatcher.

Despite the cold and sometimes wet weather people managed to spot quite a few hardy bees, hoverflies and other insects. The most recorded insect was the orange-tip butterfly followed by common carder bee and hairy-footed flower-bee.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, Dudley Council's cabinet member elect for environmental, highways and street services, said: "We know our parks and green spaces have been a haven for so many over the last year.

"It’s great to see how much people care about the nature on the doorstep by taking park in the challenge and more importantly reaping the rewards of spending time in the great outdoors, slowing down, connecting with nature and enjoying the fresh air."

More than 1,200,000 wildlife observations were made worldwide in total making it the biggest City Nature Challenge ever - with 449 cities and 44 countries participating worldwide - and the data will now be used to populate a global database to help scientists and conservationists in their work.

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 challenge changed its focus from competition; instead embracing the healing power of nature and celebrating the tens of thousands of people around the world, searching for and documenting local biodiversity together in the event.

People can find out more about the challenge and view some of this year’s discoveries online at,, or follow @EcoRecording.