LIVING WITH NORTH LONDON WILDLIFE
Although our garden lies in urban Islington, the London Borough with the smallest amount of green space, we have wildlife. Much of it comes to us from the nature reserve down the street, Gillespie Park.
Behind terraced houses, a handful of mature trees advertise our gardens to local birds. Some birds overfly us: Swifts, Ducks, Geese and Gulls. Crows, Jays and Magpies seldom come into the garden, but Woodpigeons, Feral Pigeons and the odd Collared Dove do. Blackbirds and Starlings love our slugs, snails, suet and mealworms.
Treecreepers, Woodpeckers, Wagtails and Chiffchaffs prefer Gillespie Park. But small garden birds – House Sparrows, Dunnocks, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Robins, Wrens & Goldfinches – find sustenance in our trees, shrubs and birdfood.
There are Toads and Newts in Gillespie Park, which has ponds. Here, even without a pond, we have Frogs.
Foxes and Grey Squirrels are plentiful in Highbury. Although not ‘wildlife’, pet Dogs must be on leads, while pet Cats roam freely through Highbury streets and gardens. Though well fed by their owners, some Cats stalk, kill and eat birds. And, in spite of superior Cat numbers, the neighbourhood still has its 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…
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