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Natural World

  • Season 30
  • 14 episodes
  • Nature

Episode 14: The Unnatural History of London: Natural World


Exploring the London's surprising and secret wildlife, including seals, parakeets, badgers, foxes and even pelicans who have made London their home. The programme also focuses on the admirers of these animals, from Billingsgate fish porters and Indian chefs to Crayfish Bob, who scours the canals for foreign species.


Two grebes perform the most elegant cotillion on Hackney Marshes, a courtship dance that, like the grebes themselves, is both colourful and exotic. Back in the city’s centre, a woman wriggles along grubby pavements, clutching her camera, as she takes photos of her beloved feral pigeons. One, whom she has called Brian, even has his own online diary.

This lovely, lyrical film scavenges through the undergrowth of London to root out some extraordinary sights like these to paint a brash, vivid picture of the capital’s wildlife. Not just urban foxes – we see a lady in a tower block feeding sausages to a fox family that politely begs for goodies beneath her window – but also the stray seal thrown fish scraps by Billingsgate fish market workers. Then there are the bird-watchers who have a monthly “meeting” atop a skyscraper to observe glorious peregrines as they swoop and plummet. It’s a delightful portrait of London’s wild spaces.

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Executive producerChris Cole
ProducerDavid Allen
Series editorSteve Greenwood

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