Pigeons that catch the tube, pigeon eating pelicans, duckling nabbing turtles, scorpion (!) invaders, fox fighting badgers, screeching parakeets, crayfish gang wars – London has the best wildlife. It’s one of the greenest and most animal-friendly cities in the world. Last night’s Britain’s Natural World: an unnatural history of London’s streets on BBC4 told the often unseen story of London’s natural world, a bustling community as diverse and populous, more populous, in fact, than its human colony. And just like its people, London’s collection of weird and wonderful animal inhabitants is changing, ever evolving with the ebb and flow of migrants (stealing their rubbish). Recent arrivals include several small, relatively harmless, scorpion colonies that glow under UV light.
I’m not quite sure why nature-loving and general nuttiness seem to complement each other so well, but there are a good few, shall we say ‘special’, characters here: the sausage-wielding woman who’s trained her local foxes to sit on command; the photographer who seems to genuinely believe that pigeons have political opinions, that they’re a community of power fighting protesters, and the man who likes birds so much he bought a house overlooking a RUBBISH DUMP. Perhaps, with a bit of practice, I’ll be as uniquely eccentric one day.
The show’s only on iPlayer until Wednesday 27th November (which is one of the BBC’s many annoying habits).