Mischa van den Brandhof invites us on a favourite walk through one of London’s most romantic landscapes.
Past the fancy dress shop, over the tram lines, through the subway and down the alleyway – the Wandle arrived, alive, says Lucy Scott.
Greater yellow rattle blooms now, the spring buttercups lost to a swathe of Yorkshire fog and other grasses I don’t know, says Daniel James Greenwood as he explores Farthing Downs and New Hill.
I lie on my back on the grass and watch the clouds, the only person in this vast decanted housing estate, once home to 3,000 people, says Kirsten Downer.
Snow covers the Downs. From the town comes the agitated clamour of traffic and, somewhere, the eagerness of a chainsaw, says Daniel James Greenwood.
Organised at first, the lapwings moved as a single creature. Like a sea serpent shifting its body one way and then the other, before dissolving into chaotic black fragments around a flock of starlings, says Lucy Scott.
It’s not until you’re bobbing about in a tiny kayak in the middle of the river that you begin to appreciate the sheer scale of the Thames. Never before have I kayaked on anything this wide, deep and cold, says Juliette Dyke.
There is stillness here but it is not still. This resting place is well visited… It’s a frosty, crisp day but sunlight remains shut out. Inside the cemetery gates, day swerves abruptly into dusk.
The living and the dead mingle on the Downs this morning. Meadow brown butterflies kick up from the ruins of grassy tussocks and rusting bramble. They are as shed leaves moved by an autumnal breeze.
The shipping container is resting skew-whiff on the piles of abandoned boat paraphernalia that litter this part of the river – battered ropes coiled sluggishly in sodden heaps; old buoys forever beach-bound.