Your Living Home; Your Wild Neighbourhood
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Your Living Home
Your Wild Neighbourhood
One of the things you learn from long walks by canals is the way each carries a green seam into the densest city centre, which becomes an excellent inroad for plants and animals on the move. Railways and roads do this in their own way too, and are just some of the features that Philip Parker examines in Neighbourhood - a pleasant roundup of outdoor urban ecology. We wander about the townscape spotting wild and feral things in a variety of habitats - streets, buildings, ponds, parks and wasteland. The spotter-spectrum ranges from trees to algae, badgers to beetles and there are some nice bits of Did-you-know-ery: 60% of all cats killed on the roads are black, which doesn't seem very lucky, but reflect that a large number of accidental deaths means a thriving population and cease to worry about the future of the hedgehog. I thought the cover picture of a red squirrel was a shade optimistic, though.
Last year saw an invasion of Clinton's White House by rats and, at the same time, a plague of mice in our own Palace of Westminster. It takes one to know one I suppose but Parker refrains from comment in this little 'Did you know?' from Living Home. Here we look at woodworms, clothes moths and lots of other creepy-crawlies as well as mammals. A commercially necessary world-wide element introduces possums, monkeys and racoons but the most praiseworthy inclusion of all is a whole spread devoted to the lowly woodlouse - possibly the only creature that will voluntarily eat school chalk and whose habits and presence are all entirely benign.
Each volume's value is much enhanced by an ample, relevant bibliography and address list.
This pair will make a useful addition to ecology project collections.