These days, the only unusual critter you’re likely to spot in London is the odd domesticated ferret and the famous tube parrot. However, you’ve probably missed a few other urban creatures – hiding in the city’s street names.
This map, rustled up by the Museum of London, picks out just a few places to take a walk on the wild side. There's a backstory for almost every street.
In the shadow of The Gherkin, Houndsditch follows the route of an old ditch which used to run alongside London's walls – it was a dumping ground for locals’ refuse and dead dogs. Birdcage Walk was the royal aviary during the reign of James I. And by Smithfield Market, Cowcross Street was a main thoroughfare for live cattle.
The Museum of London is taking over Smithfield this Bank Holiday Sunday for a free party celebrating Londoners’ relationship with fauna past and present. Look out for bee-inspired dance classes, interactive wild installations, a mini-beast area containing hissing cockroaches – and not a live cow or dead dog in sight, hopefully.Share the story