In our nature, in our cities

by Kareemah Malik

I have never really been a fan of tall buildings, huge crowds and New York-styled lights. Not a great start for a Londoner! My dislike of anthropocentric behaviours and eagerness to conserve wildlife has previously left me to neglect the conservation of wildlife in urban areas and to stray away to the countryside.

Only recently have I opened my eyes and really started appreciating the variety of wildlife in cities. Urban areas may appear to be solely home to flocks of pigeons but they are also a stop off for many migratory species and many botanical gardens, parks, reserves and our own gardens. Wildlife is everywhere. Why not offer some butterflies, bees or birds in your garden some nectar, seeds or water along their migratory routes?

A bit of buddleia would mean the world to a Painted Lady.

I feel honoured to study in such a picturesque city, and
we are extremely lucky to have the Gower and other habitats nearby. I soon discovered after starting university, however, that Bay campus has been built neighbouring a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI), Crymlyn Burrows. This does not deem the area a lost cause for wildlife, but it should encourage the urgency to conserve it. This site is home to various species such as Sea Stock and sweet Sanderlings.

We need to monitor this beauty on our doorstep. You can help by not collecting driftwood, not lighting fires and clearing up litter. I encourage dogs to enjoy the area but please clean up after them, as having to clear up the site can damage strandlines which are home to rare beetles.

I am on the committee this year for Swansea University Conservation and Ecology Society (SUCES). Please join for a splash of fresh air, to socialise and importantly for some conservation work in Crymlyn Burrows, with our Biodiversity Officer, or elsewhere. It is in our nature to connect with wildlife and nature is in our cities.


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