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, 20 December 2011

Chewz locked up
[ Article from ] 24 year-old London based graffiti writer Chewz, known particularly for his hollow chrome throw-ups, has plead guilty to 22 charges of criminal damage (as well as one charge of burglary and one of common assault) and was sentenced to 21 months in prison. While we will not post his mugshot or “name and shame” the young man, we can report that he has been sentenced to 21 months in prison, as well as being given a five year ASBO (which states that he must not carry paint, marker pens or glass-cutting equipment anywhere in England and Wales, and that he is expressly banned from non-public areas of the railway network). The British Transport Police caught up with Chewz after a tag he was convicted for in 2002 began to reappear in South London. When officers re-investigated him, they found evidence on his Facebook page that suggested that he was also responsible for the Chewz graffiti. He was arrested, and found to be in possession of large amounts of graffiti paraphernalia (which could be anything from magazines, to markers or pens), and was bailed to return, but he never did return to court when he was due to in August, choosing to going on the run. Eventually, in November, the BTP caught up with Chewz and he was charged, including nine offenses that are supposed to have happened while he was on bail. The court heard that Chewz damaged Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square during the November 2010 student riots and that he attacked 17 trains at the Grove Park depot on May this year. They were shown evidence from Chewz’ home linking him to the tag, as well as images on his phone and Facebook, and even a tag in the dust on top of his TV. Chewz plead guilty to the charges, which the prosecution claimed amounted to £69,000 worth of damage. As often happens with these cases, some have been suspicious of this figure, which suggests that it cost £4,000 to clear up two pieces of graffiti on the trackside near London Bridge, and just over £2,000 to clean South West Trains carriages at Waterloo. Trackside walls between Charing Cross and Waterloo East apparently cost £3,000 to clean. Perhaps there is an argument to be made that graffiti on a train window affects health and safety, because people can’t see out of the train, but if it honestly costs £4000 to paint over a trackside piece, why not just leave it? The tracksides near Finsbury Park station don’t seem to get buffed, and it doesn’t seem to bother anyone. BTP spokespeople have made the usual comment, that graffiti is not harmless, because the costs of the removal get passed onto the fare paying passenger. A clever approach to the issue, designed to get members of the public on-side. Steve Taylor, Duncan, Nathanswan, Nshillingford, Peble Head, Di’s Free Range, Cocabeenslinky, Nothing8339 and 404 took these photos. Thanks to R for the news.

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