I link to this article by Matt Ridley partly because I like the photo at the top of it, which is a nice combination of biology and technology, wildlife and urbanity:
Here is a square cropped from the middle of that photo:
But I also like what it says, which is that human cities are also places for other kinds of creatures. Urban creatures are now evolving fast, to fill all of the many niches that humans are busy creating.
Suburbs are already richer in wildlife than most arable fields in the so-called green belt, making environmental objections to housing development perverse.
Amen. I was brought up in an outer suburb of London, which means a place just beyond the green belt, where London resumes, after a big old gap. Every train journey to London would involve this bizarre twenty minute spell in the green belt. The green belt is a completely futile and surpassingly dull doughnut of pseudo-agricultural nothingness. The only interesting things there are gravel pits and reservoirs. The green belt ought to be turned into real places for real people and real other creatures to live in, made green not by pseudo-agriculture, but by places of real beauty like Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park.