Started on 7th January 2010 [00.46]

This is a scrap book dedicated to the study of London's weeds and the wild places where they grow.


What is a Wildcorner?

A Wildcorner is a term referring to a gap that has been left to grow wild in the city. The term encompasses every wild piece of land no matter the size, from large disused sports grounds to small patches of commercial wasteland, to a crack in the pavement. As long as this gap in the man made landscape harbours some kind of weed, then it is considered a Wildcorner.

Wildcorners and Wildcorridors* are dotted all over the capitol and vary in content, depending on their location and history. One thing most have in common is that they are normally restricted in someway from public access or boarded off and hidden from public view altogether. In this blog we focus particularly on the Wildcorners of south east London.

* Wildcorridor; a word used to describe a channel or pathway made inside the metropolis that also facilities the propagation and growth of weeds. This includes railway sidings, wild rivers and canals.


Urban and Suburban Weeds

By the term 'weeds' we are of course referring to the cities wild plants and flowers. But their are also two other weeds that grow in the city.

'Graff' like its botanical relation, has many families and strains. Both of these weeds can often be found together, sharing many qualities including their adaptive nature and unregulated status. Both in many cases, originally entered and populated the city using the railway network.

London's third 'weed' is invisible and uses the tops of tower blocks to propagate. Pirate radio like its weed relatives, grows away from the public eye and is constantly adapting to exploit these same gaps across the cities FM radio spectrum, fighting and flourishing in-between the commercial stations.


This scrapbook also encompasses the languages, cultures, legends and folk tales that grow in and from the wild places of London.


Tuesday, 11 October 2011

INTERNAL NETWORKZ - Vol:1 The Quaggy



Internal Networkz is the first in a series of video documentaries exploring Lewisham's connecting wild corridors, such as its rivers and train lines. In this first volume, the viewer comes with us on a journey as we explore the path of the river Quaggy. We pick up the route at its end, where it flows into the River Ravensbourne at Lewisham Train Station. We follow it where it passes underground at the police station and on, through suburban parks and the backs of houses through south east london. Unknown to us at the time, as we traveled up river, riots came to the streets of Lewisham. We keep to the river and slip through the world above us unnoticed. We explore and study the secret markings left under bridges. We look for links and clues of London's underground legends and mythologies. In particular, for traces of 'The Lewisham Natureman', a mysterious character from South East London 'Graff' folklore. He has never been seen and only appears through the tiny symbol [often carved] which can be found in the wild corners and corridors of the capitol, mainly in Lewisham and her surrounding boroughs. The symbol is that of a crown, formed from a circle of figures holding hands [like the crown used in the logo of Lewisham borough] , with a single dandelion growing through it. Some say he is not a man at all but some kind of spirit of nature. A contemporary, urban Green Man or Herne, who walks in these wild places where the weeds grow. The small tag has also been linked to another figure in local street folklore; Solomon Wild. Solomon is believed to be some kind of urban explorer / amateur scientist of London's wild cracks, he is thought to be conducting a ongoing study into The Lewisham Natureman legend. But some believe the two are in fact the same person and Solomon is the one leaving these tags. Either in attempt to propagate the myth, keeping it alive and fake his own results. Another version describes Solomon as not a scientist but as a vagrant herbalist and shaman, who uses these places to rest and grown his herbs and food. The hidden tag is said to be a simple and discreet 'i was here' message to his friends and those who know where to look. There are many legends on the underground.

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