This blog is a celebration of the nature in the South East and highlights ways you can get involved and explore nature in the region. If you've got news of the South East’s nature that you'd like to share, please contact the RSPB South East office on 01273 775333 or email SERComms@rspb.org.uk
Cold, hard rain hit my face on the cycle ride in to work this morning, but the clear and loud song of a blackbird from a garden square in Bloomsbury is my over-riding memory of the commute.
It's clarity and volume stood out from the rumble of London, adding a touch of magic to the usual soundtrack. It's these unexpected exposures to nature that make urban living so great. We must all have memories of lazy Sunday mornings, waking up to bright sunshine and birdsong ... don't we?
Feeding the ducks on the local pond or coming face to face with a fox in your garden or next to the bins, like I did recently passing through Hackney's Pembury Estate, are all part and parcel of the hidden natural life of the Capital. It needn't be birds or animals. Nature surprises us in other ways too. I was recently drawn to a railway siding by the unusual sounds coming from some track laying work, I was bowled over the colour and number of bluebells covering the embankment.
All of this is very encouraging and positive. It could be far better. There should be more bluebells, more blackbirds, more nature and it would make life for all Londoners much better. But, working for the RSPB, I would say that, wouldn't I. We're often accused of being anti-development and blind to the needs of business and the economy. As if we don't live in the same world as everyone else and don't have bills or taxes to pay.
Nature is not good at short-term returns like those in the economic and political sectors reflected in our media. Nature takes a long view and rewards those who follow suit, so we should learn to take notice. One quick thing you can do that will reap excellent long-term results is emailing David Cameron urging him to tell International leaders to be pro-active in addressing climate change.
If you haven't got a lingering memory of nature in London, scoot along to Regent's Park this weekend to see our team, where they'll point out the ancient dinosaur-like grey herons in their tree-top nests. Alternatively, hop on a train from Fenchurch Street to Purfleet and visit our Rainham Marsh reserve. Once declared the wildest place Londoner's can reach on an Oyster card.