Animal Magic

Camley Street Natural Park – Canal-side residences

It’s a lovely day for a visit. A mild autumn day, blue skies, sunshine, a thin covering of yellow leaves drifting across the muddy ground, made moist and fragrant by the recent rain.

Trees, bushes, reeds, pond weed, fifty shades of green, this is a beautiful place. And it is a peaceful place. Or at least, it used to be. A bit noisy around sunrise and sunset, but on the whole the neighbours got on together pretty well.

But listen to it now! A crashing, bumping, grinding, squealing cacophony as giant machines compete to build the biggest and best luxury canal-side residences.

Luxury canal-side residences? Pfff!!!! My family have lived here in canal-side residences for generation after generation. And we will carry on living here for generations after all these concrete, steel and glass monstrosities have cracked and crumbled to the ground.

Yes, it was pretty disruptive when they started all this building so all my family and I moved out. Then they built a new residence – ‘a perfect home’ designed specifically for us – and are desperate for us to move back in, to try and prove they have not damaged the area too much, I suppose. Huh!!! We will do that when we are good and ready.

‘Bug hotel’ they call it. It turns out that us stag beetles are a rare and protected insect. A information board alongside says way more about our eating, sleeping and mating habits than I think is respectful. I mean, are they going to have notice boards outside the million pound apartments opposite setting out what the experts think are the likely eating, sleeping and mating habits of the occupants? I think not.

The information board reads:

“This stack of logs is a perfect home designed for stag beetles. With a bit of time, we are hoping that they will find a home here!”

Huh!!! Like I said, when we are good and ready.

Jenny Willmot


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