Friday 11 Jul 2014
Simon King is out on safari again, this time in the urban jungle. Our cities can be great places for wildlife – home to otters, peregrine falcons, badgers, foxes, bats and more. To really appreciate our natural neighbours and the extraordinary ways they've adapted to city living, you need to retune your senses and enter their world.
Super-sleuth Simon shows you where and how to find our wildest city dwellers.
Eight out of 10 of us live in the city... but how many of us take any notice of our natural neighbours ? Are cities really a good place to see wildlife? What Simon King reveals is sure to surprise many of us.
The city is fast becoming one of the most important wildlife habitats in Britain – and it's the place where many of us have our only contact with wild animals. But to really get to know the creatures that share our space, we need to see the city from a different perspective.
Simon encourages us to wake up to the wonderful acoustics of the city dawn chorus. He takes us on a smell trail of a dog foxes downtown and turns our attention to the muddy tracks of otters under a busy city flyover.
All is not what it seems in the city – a bridge is a great nest site for kittiwakes; industrial wasteland a perfect refuge for grey seals; a pile of what appears to be rubbish is in fact a swan's nest; ordinary pigeons are actually extraordinarily opportunistic super-doves; our parks are really urban woodlands; and our network of gardens is one of the richest habitats on Earth.
Simon turns our attention to the extraordinary things that are around us – like the peregrines patrolling our city skylines and the busy shopping centres that are great places for fossil hunting!
Simon shows us that, by retuning our senses and investigating the wild side of town, we can discover an extraordinary world of wildlife that exists right in the heart of our cities and the many and varied ways it has adapted to city living. He'll be showing us how to use our senses to discover the detail of the lives of the animals that have chosen to live among us.
Ultimately he'll tell us how, because the wildlife in the city is tamer, we can get close and connect with it. He'll show us that our cities are actually getting better for wildlife all the time and how we can get involved to help it. That's good for the wildlife and ultimately good for us, as connecting with our wild city cousins enriches our own, often grey and stress-laden metropolitan lives.