Since the prime minister announced the nationwide lockdown in the UK last month, the streets have been eerily quiet. Shops are closed, restaurants and bars deserted, and the buzz of our town centres has fallen all but silent. For many, the atmosphere has been a little unnerving – but with the absence of humans, some of the UK’s furrier inhabitants have been taking up residence in some surprising places…
The wildlife taking over the UK’s streets
At the end of last month, the Welsh town of Llandudno had some unusual visitors – a herd of mountain goats. The herd was captured in some hilarious photos by locals, strolling past shops, grazing on front lawns and popping up out of hedges. Meanwhile, even in the busiest urban areas, wildlife is appearing. The following week, a herd of deer, including two large stags, were spotted grazing outside an estate in Harold Hill, east London.
Animal sightings further afield
Across the rest of Europe, there have been some animal sightings that have got conservationists excited. In the once murky, tourist-filled canals of Venice, the water has become blue and clear. A whole host of wildlife has reappeared, including ducks and colourful seabirds, which have begun to nest. Delighted locals have put up signs warning others not to tread on the eggs, in the hope this is a new beginning for Venice’s famous waterways.
What happens when we take the streets back?
When we do eventually move back in, it’s looking likely we’ll have some animal friends there to greet us, especially in the construction industry. Anyone that’s worked in construction knows birds, squirrels and rodents love to make their homes in the nooks and crannies of building sites. Of course, many of us are keen that these environmental gains are preserved once we come out of lockdown, so you’ll need to make sure you get proper consultation on how to move them on safely. Local authorities and charities like the RSPB can advise crews on how to make sure this is done humanely.
Working for a more sustainable industry
The current crisis has been challenging for everyone, but seeing goats and deer scampering about our towns and cities has been a much-needed bit of good news for us all. Meanwhile, in construction, we should take some time to reflect on how to make our operations more sustainable – both environmentally and financially. If one thing’s certain in these uncertain times, we need to keep working together to protect the environment.