In spite of our inner-city location, Bow is home to a diverse variety of animal species, transporting us away from the humdrum of city life.
One of the best things about living in Bow is the diversity we experience on our streets every day. On a short stroll down Roman Road Market you will pass Edif Cinpolat selling golden gözlemes from Turkey, a century-old East End cafe with a Bengali menu taped to the window, and a French coffee shop come vintage clothing store all in the space of a few minutes.
While the hustle and bustle of so many cultures and communities is what gives the East End its unique character, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the constant churn of inner-city life.
With rising prices, holidays are unattainable for many this summer, and you might find yourself craving the fresh air and sense of adventure that nature provides.
However, on top of our cultural diversity, Tower Hamlets is home to a number of different parks and nature spots where swans, squirrels, terrapins and robins have made their homes.
The following photos were all captured in our award-winning Victoria Park, home to familiar (but no less majestic) swans and robins, as well as the more surprising yellow-bellied slider terrapin.
The terrapin (or turtle, as it is called in its native USA) is less prevalent than its red-eared cousin, but neither terrapin can breed in the UK’s cold climate.
The animals are feral, which means they have escaped from a domestic or captive status and are living as wild animals, and can be found in the lakes and grasslands of Victoria Park.
Contrary to the connotations of the word ‘feral’, yellow-bellied slider turtles are known for their friendly temperaments, though it is unadvisable to approach them next time you’re picnicking in Vicky Park.
If, however, you fancy a bit of bird watching in the park, we have on good authority that the area between the People Park’s Tavern and the ‘Olde English Rose Garden’ is the most productive spot.
If you enjoyed this piece, you might like our photo essay about Victoria Park’s roller-skating revival.
Please support local journalism.
As a not-for-profit media organisation using constructive journalism to strengthen communities, we have not put our digital content behind a paywall or subscription fee as we think the benefits of an independent, local publication should be available to everyone living in our area.
We are powered by members. Hundreds of members have already joined. Become a member to donate as little as £3 per month to support constructive journalism and the local community.