In 2002, the BBC pronounced the Cockney Sparrow dead. A year later, they were asking where it was. Sparrow news went cold for a bit, then bounced back in 2006 with the London House Sparrow Project and efforts to find out why the London sparrow population had all but vanished.
Happily, today the Beeb report on a new biodiversity action plan from Westminster Council to help reverse the decline of the once ubiquitous, cheeky and plucky sparrow. By prioritising key habitats and installing special nest boxes and feeding stations, for example, at the Zoo, Westminster hope to restore the sparrow as a London emblem so that the East End greetings of "Wotcha cock" or "Hello, me old cock sparrow" actually mean something, once more.
Plans are also in place to boost owl, hedgehog, butterfly and bat populations in the capital.
Image courtesy of Rob.Stoke's Flickrstream.