Complete your New Naturalist collection with Harper Collins's facsimile versions, which are printed on demand. London's Natural History was first published in 1945.
Up to now there has been no real attempt to write a comprehensive history of a great human community in terms of the animals and plants it has displaced, changed, moved and removed, introduced, conserved, lost or forgotten. In selecting London as an area for such study Mr. Fitter, himself a Londoner, takes the world's largest aggregation of human beings living in a single community and in many ways the most interesting perhaps of all regions of the British Isles, and shows how the spread of man's activities has affected the plants and animals in them, destroying some, creating others.
Wild birds like the rook and jackdaw have been driven further from St. Paul's by the relentless advance of London's tide of bricks, others like the wood pigeon and moorhen have moved in to colonise those oases of greenery, the parks. The influence of international trade has brought many new creatures to the Port of London, most of them undesirable.
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R. S. R. Fitter was born in 1913. Writer and editor of natural history books, author of London's Natural History (1945) and contributor to birds of the London Area (1957). Founder, in Britain, of the modern illustrated field guide with 'a genius for compression'. The most influential urban naturalist since W.H. Hudson. Active with wife Maisie on many conservation bodies, most notably the Flora and Fauna Preservation Society (secretary 1964-81). Author of over two doxen books on all aspects of British, European and world natural history, best known for his Collins pocket and field guides. Friendly and well-liked all-round naturalist, lifetime devoted to observing 'wild and human life'.