Thomas W. Hodgkinson

Paradise regained: how the world’s wastelands are regenerating

Cal Flyn investigates regions that mankind has made uninhabitable and finds nature making a surprisingly vigorous comeback

Paradise regained: since 1954, one of the planet’s most impressive coral reefs has grown up in Bikini Atoll’s toxic waters. Credit: Getty Images.

Ignoring the padlocked gate, my six-year-old son Nicholas and I climbed through a break in the metal fence and pushed into the mesh of undergrowth. This was the site of Ducker, the open-air swimming pool that once belonged to Harrow School. Here the young Winston Churchill romped (naked, since trunks were for prefects), as, in his day, did my dad.

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