ANIMAL lovers across Dorset are being asked to help create a map of the county's urban wildlife.

Wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) wants volunteers to take part in its annual 'Living with Mammals' survey, by surveying a garden or local green space once a week for three months.

PTES surveys officer David Wembridge explained: "Understanding how wildlife in our towns and cities is changing is essential in supporting our wild neighbours such as foxes, rabbits and hedgehogs.

"We have always shared our green spaces with wildlife, so by counting the number of mammals each spring, we can tell where conservation efforts are needed most."

Urban foxes and grey squirrels are a common site across the conurbation, but other mammals such as badgers and hedgehogs have also made towns and cities their home.

Last year, volunteers in the South East and East of England regions returned the greatest number of surveys, while residents of Scotland and the North East, the fewest.

Mr Wembridge explained: "By identifying population trends, finding pockets where certain species are thriving or under pressure, we can ultimately encourage biodiversity around us."

Volunteers can choose any green space to survey. This could be a rural or urban garden, an allotment, a park, or a green space near to work, as long as the site is within 200 metres of a building.

Once a suitable space has been identified, PTES is asking volunteers to visit this site for a short amount of time each week, and record any sightings of mammals, or the signs they leave behind, such as droppings or footprints.

Volunteers can submit their findings online at, which is also home to a guide on how to spot mammals. The survey can also be completed via a printed pack, which can be sent to your door.

The survey takes place between March 26 and June 24.