The PeregrineFalcon is officially the fastest animal on Earth. It is known to reach speed of up to two hundred miles per hour when diving – faster than a World War I fighter plane. Peregrines, as Schedule 1 birds, receive the strongest of legal protection under the Wildlife and Country-side Act of 1981 in the UK. As such, they are an urban success story that has bounced back after years of persecution and poisoning.
The Peregrine population in the UK had collapsed by the late 1950s, almost made extinct by the toxic agricultural pesticide DDT. After DDT was banned from agricultural use in the 1980s, Peregrines began to recover and move into our cities.
The first Peregrines were seen in London in the 1990s, and a pair moved in at Battersea Power Station in 2000 – some 21 years before the first human residents to the development, and thrived throughout the restoration of the Grade II* listed building.
Today, the pair of PeregrineFalcons that call Battersea Power Station home nest in their very own ‘penthouse’ inside the wash tower and can often be spotted perched on the iconic chimneys. For Peregrines, just as for humans, Battersea Power Station is one of the most desirable addresses in London.
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