Throughout June 2016 I’ll be blogging every day – not about writing, but about nature. Here’s why.
Maybe you don’t know this, but one of my great loves is wildlife. For most people that’s a word which conjures up images of David Attenborough getting up close and personal with a gorilla, or Chris Packham holding a bird of prey. But for me, the definition of wildlife is much looser. It covers anything which is alive, but which isn’t purposely cultivated or farmed by humans.
My natural habitat is the big city, which is where I was born and mostly brought up. There’s a lot of wildlife in a big city; it may not always be of the charismatic kind, but it has its own appeal. And the beauty of inner city wildlife is its accessibility. In fact, it often brazenly makes the first approach, as with the grey squirrel which jumped up beside me one day in Russell Square Gardens, waiting for me to open my bag and bring out my packed lunch. The cheeky little blighter soon bounded away, though, when the anticipated lunch box turned out to be a book. Mere cupboard love.
Because this wildlife is all around us, it’s easy to take it for granted. Even worse, it’s often regarded as a nuisance, and something to be banished or exterminated, usually on spurious grounds of health and safety. In the spirit of championing the underdog I’ve long wanted to celebrate it, and—a bit more seriously–to examine our place within this teeming mass of inner city wildlife.
This June, The Wildlife Trusts are running the 30 Days Wild initiative, challenging us all to have an encounter with wild nature every day for a month. I couldn’t resist signing up, and I’ll be blogging about it every day over on http://ournatureblog.com. It’s nice to do something completely different every so often, so I’d love it if you’d join me there, on Twitter, and on Instagram.