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Cockney sparrows disappear from London's East End

PUBLISHED: 18:15 13 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:41 05 October 2010

Cockney Sparrow... endangered species in London?

Cockney Sparrow... endangered species in London?

COCKNEY sparrows have all but disappeared from London's East End and other parts of the capital. But a colony if the tiny birds is thriving in a small area of the Thames waterfront on the Southbank, ornithology experts have discovered

Victoria Huntley

COCKNEY sparrows have all but disappeared from London’s East End and other parts of the capital.

But a colony if the tiny birds is thriving in a small area of the Thames waterfront on the Southbank, ornithology experts have discovered.

House sparrows have been disappearing from parks and gardens, with the population dropping 68 per cent between 1994 and 2007.

“Central London is like a desert for house sparrows,” said Tim Webb from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

“It used to be full of them chirping and cheeping away.

“But there’s a small colony on the Southbank that we’ll be showcasing to draw attention to their loss.

“These small garden birds have all but vanished from the heart of London—but not from the hearts of Londoners.”

Sparrows, traditionally our most common garden bird, are now on the RSPB’s endangered species’ red list.

Tim added: “The loss of insects and sparrows are indicators that the London we live, work and play in was in a terrible condition.

"Restoring a natural balance provides all Londoners with a healthy environment. Individuals can help by gardening for wildlife on their balconies and in their gardens.”

Staff and volunteers are running their showcase’ at Bernie Spain Gardens, next to the iconic Oxo Tower on the Thames waterfront at Southwark, close to Blackfriars Bridge, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11.30am to 3.30pm for seven weeks until November 30.

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