Nationally many apple and other orchards have vanished; abandoned or grubbed up because there’s no longer any money in them.
There’s a mournful chapter on the country’s last orchards in Paul Kingsnorth’s Real England.
Yet, here in London one group of people have set out to plant a series of new orchards, filling South London with saplings of hope.
I had a Charlie Brown moment this morning.
Up early, I glanced out of the window and was struck dumb by the sky.
Easy access to the internet and faster broadband, for many in the West at least, mean that anyone interested in landscape, nature, geography, topography and related areas can now spend vast amounts of time casting their eyes over an almost limitless territory of online landscapes and environments.
As a result, it is quite possible for people to devote many more hours gazing at digital photographs of places near and far, than actually spending time in them.
Over a wall is a river foreshore busy with gulls and expectant cormorants – right in the heart of London.
For a long time it didn’t have a name. It was just the lane that ran along the back of Mum and Dad’s bookshop…Sometimes I’d dare a peek over the top of the wall, but all that could easily be seen was an area thick with buddleia and other wild flowerings.
My imagination was quick to populate the space further with various other unnamed horrors and I’d quickly scramble back down to the ground and in through the door before sliding the bolts back across in delicious relief.
How a once-derelict patch of ground, is helping to galvanise a community in one corner of South London.
Squashed gothic churches, beheaded saints, mysterious alleyways and a preponderance of dustbins.