One of my earliest memories is lying in bed in the morning and listening to all the birds singing in the trees just beyond our garden fence.
I used to try to count all the different types of bird songs, which must have listed dozens.


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Recently I moved into Nottingham city centre, and now every morning, a pigeon who sits beneath my bedroom window wakes me up. These two contrasting moments in my life highlight a point about the lack of biodiversity in our built environment. True, I grew up in the countryside, but surely Mr Pigeon does not have to be the only bird living in the city...

It's important that we don't think of our cities and our countryside as detached; we need a little bit of wilderness within our cities, and nature needs it too. The canal regeneration in Nottingham presents a unique opportunity to connect the long network of canals and the biodiversity it sustains into the heart of the city. More and more are we learning about the complex systems and connections that create habitats, simply placing trees in urban environments does not bring in wildlife. Green corridors, as seen in places like Copenhagen and Helsinki, integrated into cities in the 1940s are thriving with wildlife. The green corridors provide vital connections that connect our countryside and our cities. 

One day (with a little bit of effort) it might be possible to lie in bed in a city centre and hear dozens of birds singing, instead of the lone noisy pigeon who wakes me every morning.