There is wildlife everywhere and that includes our big cities, towns and villages. This shouldn’t come as a surprise really, but we are so wedded to the idea that our own activities are driving wildlife abundance down (as they are) that we, perhaps subconsciously, believe that built up areas must be the worst possible places for wildlife. It’s not always the case – I see more birds per area on the parts of my Breeding Bird Survey route that pass through a small town in North Northants than I do in the countryside around it. Sometimes our parks and gardens are the refuges for wildlife and the farmed countryside is the desert. But it is still true, I think, that a Fox seen in a city seems more special than one seen in a rural field. We wonder how it manages amongst us all – maybe because we sometimes wonder how we manage, amongst us all.

This book is about much more than simply encounters with urban wildlife as it looks at what is happening to that wildlife, how it survives and what we could do to help it do even better.

The author makes a good case for putting more effort into protecting and celebrating urban wildlife and her 15-point manifesto for urban wildlife is spot-on in my view – a mixture of the obvious but important and the not-so-obvious.

i enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. It’s engaging and I learned some things.

The cover? I don’t like it. That doesn’t mean you can’t like it, but it does mean I’ll give it 4/10. And I’m not keen on the in-text illustrations either.

Wild City: encounters with urban wildlife by Florence Wilkinson is published by Orion Books.

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