Parks go wild to attract sparrows

More than 20 parks across London are to have wild grass and flowers planted in them to attract fast-disappearing house sparrows.

More traffic, a loss of green spaces and the paving over of city gardens are being blamed for the birds’ numbers falling by 68% in 15 years.

The RSPB has warned that sparrows may disappear altogether if sanctuaries are not built in the city.
The scheme, which will cost £170,000, is being funded by the SITA Trust, which raises money through taxes on rubbish sent to landfill.

RSPB representative Tim Webb said patches of wild grass and flowers in parks would attract insects, which in turn will draw sparrows to feed.

“In Greater London sparrow numbers are down 68% on what they were in 1994, and there are some parts of central London where you don't see them at all any more,” he said.

The wild patches will be created in parks including Hampstead Heath, Tooting Common, Primrose Hill and Leyton Marshes.
Other sites involved in the three-year project include Green Park, Hyde Park, and Kensington Gardens.

The scheme will be supported by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, City of London, the Royal Parks Agency, Wandsworth Borough Council, Islington Council and Southwark Council.


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