Filed under urban wildlife

A Rat and Frogs in the Garden

A Rat and Frogs in the Garden

This is another excerpt from Paul Jennings’ The Living Village, a collection from diaries written for the half century of the Womens’ Institute in 1965. It is a window into a lost world, as this suggests, from Little Houghton, Northamptonshire: “One morning I tied the rind of a leg of pork on to our rowan … Continue reading


The Wisdom of Pigeons?

This is a contradiction in terms as I believe that pigeons are about the stupidest creatures on the planet. There is a nest of peregrine falcons on the tower of Cardiff Town Hall, where pigeons are generally the food of choice. A man from the RSPB who set up binoculars so the public can watch … Continue reading

Faces on Butterfly Wings

This is from the furtherest reaches of science, a book by Phillip Howse, retired Professor of Entymology at Southampton University, called ‘Seeing Butterflies’, but is not about their taxonomy, but of how to find pictures on the wings of butterflies, moths and other creatures. Sounds like the professor has been ingesting some chemicals from his … Continue reading

Learning From Herring Gulls

Learning From Herring Gulls

I really hate these creatures, or at least I hate what pur overfishing has made them. A while back I did a post on an injured one in Penzance. A few days back I had a strange encounter. Of was late and I was watering my plants when a noisy group of gulls swept in … Continue reading

Fenland Losses and Gains

When we talk about Britain’s, especially England’s landscapes, it is hard to find anywhere that has not been messed about with by our ancestors. I met a guy in Bristol who had found some burnt wood near the old gaol that had been torched in the riots of 1833, claiming that this was the remains … Continue reading

London Earth Moving

Britain’s biggest engineering project at present is the Crossrail project, digging a tunnel to link up parts of the huge underground train system. But where does all the earth go? This is from an article by travel writer Simon Calder in the i newspaper: “Big Barges laden with mud from the project sail daily from … Continue reading

Lost Rivers

Lost Rivers

In the Ryan Gosling movie, Drive, there is a scene where Gosling drives his neighbour and her son along a long concreted culvert, the remains of a river, in LA to reach a paradise,a place of wonder, which is what the river once was. This is the fate of many of our urban rivers – … Continue reading

An Unmissable Course

This is from an old country house near Cardiff that has been used for many things since it was last in private ownership. In this timeline shows that in 1948 it was used for a parrot sexing course. I am assured that this really happened. I love the combination of the youth orchestra that followed. … Continue reading


This is a highly commended book by poets Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts, subtitled Journeys into England’s True Wilderness, about the regions that divide towns and cities from the countryside They make an interesting point in terms of these regions being a sort of pressure release for teenagers, where parks, school playgrounds and gardens … Continue reading