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.


Monday, 19 November 2012

River of Words


 The River of Words competition was a local poetry competition in 2006.
Here is the winning entry.

Quaggy
Quaggy: hidden behind back gardens and privet.
Brickwalled, low. A road over which rivulets
Quietly slide inches deep. Culverted,
A sluice. A ditch to pitch the stolen bicycle,
Scoured and vacuum-sucked by tractors in autumn.
But while we looked away, below the station,
The grey-backed bobbing birds have come to stay.
The balance on bricks, pick the debris, chatter safely
Shaded by buddleia; run along its concrete rim;
Occupy their own secluded mountain stream.
And in the upturned shopping trolley
The mitten crabs raise woolly claws,
Wait for rainstorms, are flung towards the Thames,
Shed their skins that float on foam and confluence,
Then scurry uphill home to lurk in drains.
Paint and oil gutters in -
Slicks, sticks, dilutes, decays.
Summer comes. The lime trees drip their glue and greenflies.
Ducks swim by from parks to ponds. Seeds, butterflies,
Are carried from woodland to wasteland. And we pass by.

Emily Hay

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