Habitats: City living

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Discover how plants, animals and human intervention define a city’s landscape

City scape

From the meticulously planned to the entirely accidental, one factor all city habitats have in common is some degree of human influence. Moreover, by virtue of their very existence, the diversity of plants and animals found in our urban spaces – school grounds, gardens, parks, allotments, derelict land – must be able to survive in close proximity to people.

While we might seek to control the introduction of flora and fauna, railway lines, canals and rivers provide them with quiet green corridors down which to complete their unhindered migration to our cities.

Some species, like rats and mice, have become so successfully established in urban areas that they are generally considered pests. Increasingly, foxes, squirrels and magpies are also on the receiving end of a bad press. Encouraging children to consider the effect that humans exert on their environment will inevitable raise key issues on protection and sustainable development, and any settlement – be it a large city, town or village – can provide them with a focus for their studies.

ACTIVITIES Ages 7-11

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