LIVING WITH NORTH LONDON WILDLIFE
Although our garden is in urban Islington, the London Borough with the smallest area of green space, we have wildlife. Much of it is from the nature reserve down the street, Gillespie Park.
Behind terraced houses, a handful of mature trees advertise our gardens to birds. Some overfly us: Swifts, Ducks, Geese & Gulls. Crows, Jays & Magpies seldom visit the garden, but Woodpigeons, Feral Pigeons & the odd Collared Dove do. Blackbirds & Starlings love our slugs, snails, suet & mealworms.
Treecreepers, Woodpeckers, Wagtails & Chiffchaffs prefer Gillespie Park. But small garden birds – House Sparrows, Dunnocks, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Robins, Wrens & Goldfinches – find sustenance in our trees, shrubs, insects & birdfood.
There are Toads & Newts in the ponds of Gillespie Park. Here, even without a pond, we have had Frogs.
Foxes & Grey Squirrels are plentiful in Highbury. Although not ‘wildlife’, pet Dogs must be on leads, while pet Cats roam freely through our streets & gardens. Though well fed by their humans, some Cats stalk, kill & eat birds. And, in spite of superior Cat numbers, the neighbourhood still has Mice.
On Arsenal Matchdays at the new Emirates, as at the old Highbury Stadium, working Horses carry the police along local streets, helping with crowd control. But today, after centuries of cattle grazing in rural Islington, the only Cows in the area are to be found at Freightliners Farm…
Wherever you live, there is probably more wildlife in your neighbourhood than you know. You may think much of it small & insignificant, but your streets, parks & gardens provide a small wild world for many creatures.
You might enjoy finding out more about them.
Click on an image to learn more about our North London wildlife.