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Derek Niemann Sparrows of the Western Front

At the beginning of Armistice week, Derek Niemann recalls the ubiquitous sparrows of the Western Front surviving the onslaught and living in the ruins of bombed-out buildings.

As we begin Armistice week, Derek Niemann recalls that within the horrors of the First World War the ubiquitous house sparrows living in the shattered buildings along the Western Front were one of the great survivors during the onslaught. Despite the devastation they thrived within the ruins of bombed out buildings and for the soldiers these 'wee spuggies' brought a little bit of home, and hope, to their day.

Derek who previously worked for the RSPB for 25 years, has latterly turned his knowledge of birds and nature into a career as a writer, including the book Birds in a Cage, an affectionate tale of British prisoner of war ornithologists. For the next two weeks Derek has chosen episodes from the Tweet of the Day archive, with a connection to times of conflict. Derek begins his tenure curating the archives with his own tale. You can hear more from Derek and his interest in birds during wartime in the Tweet of the Week podcast, available as a download from the Radio 4 website..

Podcast Producer Elliott Prince
Producer Andrew Dawes

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