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.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Strange Shack Appears in Wildcorner - SE12

 I recently went though a shoe box full of old camcorder tapes, which i thought were lost. To my absolute joy I found this grainy footage, which i thought I had taped over a while back [and berated myself many times for doing so.]
It features a mysterious looking shack, which appeared sometime in the early Summer of 2010.
It looks like it is made from a jumble of found materials and stands alone in a large sealed off piece of wasteland [a Wildcorner] on Barring Road, SE12, in the London borough of Lewisham.
What was it for? Who had made it?
 The materials possibly could have all been salvaged from within the corner.
You can see a longish narrow window facing across the wasteland and a small door at the back. A shelter made by a vagrant perhaps? Or maybe some kind of 'viewing hut' for observing the wild nature in the Corner?
 The reason the footage is so special to me is that I suspect this to be the work of the infamous city explorer Solomon Wild. The shack serving as a base to work in, while studying the corners wildlife and graff.
I used to travel past regularly on the 261 bus, who's top deck overlooks the site and I was sure I'd never seen it there before. I filmed it with my old camcorder on three separate passes of the bus.
 The shack stayed there for the rest of the Summer until one day in mid Autumn, I saw from the bus, that the shacks roof and two of its side panels were twisted and broken.
My guess is that it was caused by unusually high winds that swept through the city a few weeks previous. Over the next few months i watched it slowly deteriorate, becoming again part of the wildcorner it was possibly built from.
It looked like whoever lived in or used it, had long gone. This leads me to think the shack was only intended to be a temporary base, to use just for the Summer.
I wish now that I had got inside the corner somehow, to inspect the wreckage.

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