WILD


ENCOUNTERS WITH THE NATURAL WORLD IN LONDON AND THE ISLE OF SHEPPEY

from ancient oyster farms, rare scorpions and swarming bees, to exotic plant-life, rooftop orchards, and foraging by roadside and seaside.

Essays by Luke Dixon






1: BLOODY BUDDLEIA

In which we meet the chimney sweeps of Brixton, learn of The Great Smog of 1952, visit the offices of engineering firm Cundall, go swarm collecting in Hatton Garden, hear of Thomas Coram, his Foundling Hospital and Coram's Fields, and discover the story of Adam Buddle (buried at the church of St Andrew Holborn) and the Buddleia plant named in his memory.

READ ESSAY HERE



4: BEE BREAD, TEETH OF LION 
& EYE OF THE DAY

A secret garden in the Bank of England and a governor bee-keeper; the lawns of the city; hives at Mark and Spencer; the rewards of leaving grass to become meadow; and the delights of clover, dandelions and daisies.

READ ESSAY HERE



7: GOOD SCORPION WITH YELLOW LEGS

In which some unusual lost property on a railway train leads to an expedition in search of a rare specimen.

READ ESSAY HERE







2: DEW FLOWERS FROM JAPAN

An exotic visitor to Soho takes us on a journey to the Far East, by way of Yves Klein Blue, inks, dyes, indigo, woad, and the most precious of kimonos.

READ ESSAY HERE





5: SPIDERS, RABBITS 
& OTHER HOUSEMATES

In which we meet some of the many creatures that share the author's habitation on the Isle of Sheppey and watch them eat and be eaten on the banks of the canal.

READ ESSAY HERE



8: BARTON'S POINT

A journey down the Thames' Estuary in search of Joseph Conrad, Charles Dickens, oyster beds, shipwreck and shifting sands.

READ ESSAY HERE



10: TURNING WORLDS

We watch the world turn and the seasons change; the harvest is brought in, the sea defences are closed against the winter weather, the days shorten and honey is ripened.

 READ ESSAY HERE




3: URBAN JUNGLE

A tour of London through unexpected places, from unnoticed rooftops to forgotten waterways, and the creatures – bird, beast and insect – that inhabit them, with digressions down the Thames Estuary and encounters with rat catchers, falconers and beekeepers.

READ ESSAY HERE





6: BEOCOERLS, SWARMS & DANCING BEES

Of beekeeping in the city from earliest times to the present day, with discursions on truffle hunting, the greenness of London, and the collecting of swarms.

READ ESSAY HERE




9: GOLDEN SAMPHIRE, NETTLES & HERB ROBERT

Foraging adventures on the Isle of Sheppey and in the heart of Soho.

READ ESSAY HERE