Blog 2017-06-05T12:35:19+00:00

Memories of Summer

Landscape is soft edged in September, the memory of summer still with us. The sky is bright blue, streaked with grey and white clouds. A slight chill in the air suggests that Autumn is ever closer. For now the bones of the landscape are obscured, vegetation billowing and fulsome. Richmond Park is my barometer of the wild, a touchstone reminding me of the changing seasons. The grasses are carrying yellow, bronze and gold seed heads on their still green stems. The seed heads move in the breeze, an ephemeral and lightly dancing cloud. Darkest brown stems of wildflowers spike up [...]

October 24th, 2016|

Island in the Sun

A causeway on stilts floats above a marsh threaded through with muddy creeks. Canvey Island lies beyond, below sea level, vulnerable. In 1953, the sea prevailed, broke through the sea wall and reclaimed the island as its own. Fifty nine people lost their lives. Today only an elaborate drainage system and a higher sea wall keep the islanders feet dry. Growing up in Essex, Canvey Island carried an aura of disaster, strangeness, the kind of place you wouldn’t want to visit. Canvey is a low slung kind of place, bungalows hug the land as though afraid to grow too tall [...]

March 15th, 2016|

Trees as Green Architecture

Plane trees, tall, magnificent specimens, immense trunks, bark dappled grey, cream and light green, giant canopies reaching skywards. The feeling of walking up to Clapham Common was almost ecclesiastical. They were green architecture, tree cathedral, space makers and place makers. This was The Chase, Clapham and today only about five remain, isolated lonely giants. Systematic, stealthy destruction has taken place as people chop trees down and pave over their front gardens to make car parks. It’s happening right across London. So far two thirds or twelve square miles of London’s front gardens have been paved over, trees felled, vegetation grubbed [...]

February 12th, 2016|