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London could become home to storks soaring above the capital’s biggest landmarks

London could become home to storks soaring above the capital’s biggest landmarks
London could become home to storks soaring above the capital’s biggest landmarks

White storks could soon be a common sight in London’s skyline if a new rewilding proposal goes ahead. Spurred on by the reintroduction of storks in West Sussex in 2016, urban rewilding organisation Citizen Zoo believe the birds have the potential to thrive in the capital.

The group is now researching potential habitats and gauging whether local boroughs and communities would support the initiative. Hunting, changing landscapes, and farming practices drastically reduced the white stork population in Britain centuries ago before they finally went extinct here in the 1400s.




The West Sussex project at Knepp Castle, 1.5 hours away from London, has had its most fruitful year yet. Around 40 fledglings are expected to leave their nests in the coming weeks and Citizen Zoo now hope to replicate this success.

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Lucas Ruzo, co-founder and CEO of Citizen Zoo said: “Imagine a day when in the heart of London, a remarkable sight captures our imaginations: white storks soaring in the skies once more. These elegant birds, with their pristine feathers and graceful wings, symbolise a rebirth of nature and are a story of hope.

“Their return will not only be about returning a species once lost, but also a poetic reminder of the bond between humanity and the natural world. As they glide over the Thames, they will add a touch of wild beauty to the urban skyline, inspiring dreams of a rich cityscape where people and wildlife live side by side.”

Citizen Zoo previously worked to bring beavers back to the capital’s waterways. In 2023, this became a reality when a handful of beavers were transported from Scotland to Ealing’s Paradise Fields after a three year campaign. This marked the first time beavers had been in London for 400 years.

Elliot Newton, co-founder and head of rewilding for Citizen Zoo said: “Like beavers, storks have a rightful place in our urban environments. Their return would bring a wilder, more enriching life to the Londoners whom they will live alongside, not to mention a host of ecological benefits. We see white storks as symbols of an aspiring wilder London.”