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Nature In London

August 31, 2023
by the gentle author


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Contributing Photographer Lucinda Douglas Menzies kindly gave me a copy of LONDON’S NATURAL HISTORY by R S R Fitter published in 1945, in which I discovered this splendid gallery of colour plates by Eric Hosking and other distinguished photographers of the day.

Feeding the pelicans at St James’s Park (Eric Hosking)

Backyard pig farming (Eric Hosking)

Coldharbour Farm, Mottingham – the last farm in London (Eric Hosking)

Feeding the pigeons in front of St Paul’s Cathedral (Wolfgang Suschitzky)

The New River & North-East Reservoir at Stoke Newington (Eric Hosking)

The nearest rookery to London, at Lee Green SE12 (Eric Hosking)

Allotments on Barking Levels (Eric Hosking)

Sand martin colony in a disused sand pit near Barnet bypass (Eric Hosking)

The Upper Pool at sunset with London Bridge in the background (Eric Hosking)

River wall at the confluence of the Ingrebourne with the Thames at Rainham (Eric Hosking)

Cabbage attacked by caterpillars (P L Emery)

A magnolia in the grounds of Kenwood House (Eric Hosking)

The Thames at Hammersmith with mute swans (Eric Hosking)

Sheep grazing at Kenwood House (Eric Hosking)

Teddington Lock (Eric Hosking)

A plum orchard near Chelsfield, Kent (Eric Hosking)

A black-headed gull feeding in St James’s Park (Eric Hosking)

A bold red deer at Richmond Park (C E Maney)

South-African grey-headed sheld duck, pair of mallard and a coot in St James’s Park (Eric Hosking)

Mute swans nesting on the River Lea, Hertingford, Herts (Eric Hosking)

Crocuses at Hyde Park Corner (Eric Hosking)

Roses in Queen Mary’s Garden, Regent’s Park (Wolfgang Suschitzky)

Anglers on the River Lea near Broxbourne, Herts (Eric Hosking)

Almond blossom in a suburban front garden, Ruislip, Middlesex (Eric Hosking)

Pear Tree in Blossom, Crouch End (Eric Hosking)

Rosebay willow herb and Canadian fleabane in a ruined City church (Eric Hosking)

Coltsfoot on a blitzed site (Eric Hosking)

Berkeley Sq plane trees (L Dudley Stamp)

Cress beds at Fetcham, Surrey (Eric Hosking)

Glasshouses in the Lea Valley (Eric Hosking)

Hainault Forest, Essex, from Dog Kennel Hill. The whole of this area was ploughed up a century ago (Eric Hosking)

You may also like to take a look at

The Last Bomb Site in the City of London

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Greg T permalink
    August 31, 2023

    VERY familiar
    I have a copy of the book, bought by my father, when it was first published
    Recommendation – almost any book in the “New Naturalist” series, of which this was number 3.
    They are still being published – we are now up to above 140

  2. August 31, 2023

    1945 — A time of new beginnings. These pictures show this from the perspective of nature. Beautiful.

    Love & Peace

  3. gkbowood permalink
    August 31, 2023

    Just look at all those allotments right next to a coal power plant. So sad to think how it must have affected the plants and the people who ate them! Thank you for sharing all these lovely pictures, I especially liked the Cress beds, which I had never seen before.

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