Green London: Photos of Surrey Quays, Brockley, Telegraph Hill, Blackheath and One Tree Hill


Lavender Pond Nature Park, Surrey QuaysRussia Dock Woodland: An escape from LondonStepping stones in Russia Dock WoodlandHilly Fields, BrockleyA world of green: From Hilly Fields to Forest HillThe magic hill: Blythe Hill from Hilly Fields
The view from Telegraph HillTelegraph Hill: A summer idyllBlackheath on the summer solsticeBlackheath treesThe road to the sun, BlackheathBrookmill Park: Secret Lewisham
The pond in Brookmill ParkOne Tree Hill allotmentsThe sun in the trees on One Tree HillThe Honor Oak, One Tree HillThe sign for the Honor OakOne Tree Hill: the hill-top path
London from One Tree HillMountsfield Park, Catford

Green London: Surrey Quays, Brockley, Telegraph Hill, Blackheath and One Tree Hill, a set on Flickr.

These photos are the latest contributions to my ongoing project, on Flickr, to photograph the whole of London by bike — the sixteenth instalment in what will eventually comprise many hundreds of photos sets. I currently have 60 sets to post, mostly taken in a very busy month before my summer holiday in Italy, so please bear with me. I have also been adding the photos to an interactive map, which can be found here, and I am also engaged in bringing the photos together in collections, for which maps also exist, which I hope help to contextualise the photos. Tags may also be a good way of seeking out photos, and tags are available here.

The project is my way of getting to understand London, the city that has been my home for the last 27 years, and came about because I needed — for reasons involving my health and what I think can accurately be described as my spiritual existence — to combine exercise, exploration and my neglected love of photography.

I intend to formalise the project by looking for funding, but for now, since I embarked on it, on May 11, it has become the physical manifestation — online — of my journey to a greater understanding of London than I previously thought possible, as the city, its geography, its history, its shifting moods and its secret places seep into my consciousness, transforming me in ways that I have only just begun to understand.

In the coming week I’ll begin posting photos of some long journeys I took in July and August, but for now, as a follow-up to Green London: Photos of Nunhead, Dulwich and Blythe Hill, a set I posted six weeks ago, I’m posting photos of some of the lovely green spaces that are so essential to the mental health of Londoners, some of which have an almost transcendent quality — of the woodland at Surrey Quays, which I regard as the greatest achievement of the whole Docklands redevelopment project that began in the 1980s; of the great elevated plain of Blackheath; of secrets alongside the River Ravensbourne; and of the hills of south east London; in particular, Hilly Fields in Brockley and the extraordinary One Tree Hill, seeped in history, which offers unparalleled views over central London.

Join me tomorrow for the first of four sets of photos of a journey east, along the side of the River Thames, from Greenwich to Thamesmead and back, via the Thames Barrier and Woolwich, and I also hope to post more photos of my holiday in Italy, as well as finding the time to write updates about the situation facing the men still held in Guantánamo, and to keep haranguing the Tory-led government here in the UK for their cruelty and ineptitude.

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed — and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Flickr (my photos) and YouTube. Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in April 2012, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and please also consider joining the new “Close Guantánamo campaign,” and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

26 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, William F. Lee wrote:

    More great photos. Thanks, Andy. All that greenery was refreshing indeed. Great work.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, William. Your support is very much appreciated, and I’m delighted that you enjoyed all the greenery. I find it good for the soul …

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    William F. Lee wrote:

    Indeed, and I felt it first hand during a delightful week in England last week, which I spent visiting friends in Cambridgeshire, Devon and Cornwall. Was only in London less than a day, unfortunately. See you next time.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    I hope so! Feeling very attached to this green and pleasant land right now, but aware that dark forces are still trying to destroy it, as they were when William Blake wrote those words in “Jerusalem,” 200 years ago.

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Beebs Tweet wrote:

    Lovely shots and historical comments, thank you for sharing.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Jennah Solace wrote:

    I love this one — Brookmill Park: Secret Lewisham — I think I may have found my next painting 😉

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    I’m posting these, Andy.

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    David J. Clarke wrote:

    That sounds like a perfect afternoon – I would be there in a flash if only the geography between us was not so vast.

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Jennah Solace Compared to Canada, my beloved homeland (lol), England is very built up! I feel like I will suffocate sometimes — where is the nature? Where is the ‘green’ England I’ve read about in poems? Why on earth would anyone want to destroy green spaces? That is nuts!

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Jennah Solace wrote:

    Oh this England
    by Reginald Stanley Birch

    Oh this England beauty everywhere

    This England blessed with green countryside
    Can there be anywhere quite so fair
    Country lanes to wonder just to take the air
    Oh this England beauty everywhere

    She stands with her coastline looking out to sea
    Watching waves break into white horses
    As they rush to return to thee
    Oh this England beauty everywhere

    The Northern fells for climbing with healthy heart and sole
    Vision of serenity looking down on lakes and dales
    Spectacular images will stay until the dying day
    Oh this England beauty everywhere

    People are born to depart on their last farewell
    Along with all creatures they have their final day
    Places are forever here to stay and stay
    Oh this England beauty everywhere

    All over England there is beauty to pass on
    How magnificent for thee who have to come
    Each generation will bask in England’s welcome
    Oh this England beauty everywhere

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Beebs, Jennah, George and David. Glad you like them, Beebs. Thanks for sharing, George, and David, if you ever make it over to London, I’ll show you the city by bike!
    And Jennah, the parks are the secrets to whatever exists of London’s sanity, and many of them – most, with the exception of the Royal Parks, which belong to the Queen – were fought for by the enlightened founders of the National Trust in the late 19th century, when the greedy scum of the time wanted to enclose them as they had with so much of England’s countryside, depriving the livelihoods of the countless people who had grazed animals on common land, had smallholdings, grown crops etc. So in London the great parks, where anyone with any sense heads to regularly for the sake of their mental health, are to be found almost everywhere. I don’t know about elsewhere in the country, however, but the lure of money has long meant that unprotected green spaces are under pressure, and, of course, the hypocrites in office right now, spinning a message about the importance of sport, so that they can bask in the reflected glory of the achievements of athletes in the future, are busily engaged in selling off whatever sports fields they can find to property developers. They’re such myopic, lying, spinning scumbags:

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    Thanks Andy. I just read the article and your text.

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, George. On the topic of the dangerous and unpleasant Michael Gove selling off school playing fields, 38 Degrees has a petition, which will be delivered to Gove personally on Wednesday, and which so far has over 133,000 signatures!

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    Thanks, Andy. I’ll post the link on my FB page and try to sign. Some 38 Degrees Petitions require a UK postal code. The many Brits on my page can sign it, though.

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, George. They’re aiming for 150,000 signatures at least before Wednesday.

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    Jennah Solace wrote:

    Wow, that is a really scummy thing to do! Those poor kids… politicians cutting everything – arts, music and now stealing their sports fields too! So much for the ‘civilized’ society, it’s sinking.

  17. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, it’s horrible, isn’t it, Jennah, but it’s not inevitable if we fight back – educate, agitate, organise! If enough of us mobilise, politicians will change their ways. If not, then yes, I would say we’re doomed to a slow return to feudalism.

  18. Andy Worthington says...

    Jennah Solace wrote:

    You make a convincing argument! I think we should put a collective foot down. I am tiered of the crap going down in this world. The nice people should unite — instead of sinking into the background and letting all the meanies dominate!

  19. Andy Worthington says...

    It’s what I’ve realised after six and a half years of work on Guantanamo, Jennah. If everyone who claimed to care about important issues – human rights, justice, the environment, false austerity programmes designed to crush the poor, the ill, the young, the old, the unemployed and the disabled – actually did something about it the world would be a better place, but most people don’t even manage that. Every day, or every week, say, people should be raising their voices, protesting, telling their friends, telling their families, telling their colleagues, writing letters, sending emails, refusing to be silent when injustice is discussed, but most people don’t.

  20. Andy Worthington says...

    I also posted the photo of the Honor Oak on Facebook, and wrote:

    It’s time for a photo of a tree, isn’t it? A mighty oak. This one isn’t ancient, it’s just 107 years old, but it was planted on the top of One Tree Hill in south east London, which provides extraordinary views over central London, up to the northern hills, and it was planted on the site of a legendary tree that Queen Elizabeth I reportedly sat under on May Day 1602.

  21. Andy Worthington says...

    Jennah Solace wrote:

    Is that your son hiding behind the oak tree? Cute!

  22. Andy Worthington says...

    Ruth Gilburt wrote:

    hurrah…homeland 😉

  23. Andy Worthington says...

    Well spotted, Jennah. Yes, that’s him. He’s grown so much in the last six weeks that I’m not sure he could hide as well now! Actually, he wasn’t hiding. He was circling around, thinking, “What, dad’s taking ANOTHER photo?”

  24. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, home turf, Ruth. You will freak out when I post photos of Abruzzo tomorrow then!

  25. Andy Worthington says...

    Jennah Solace wrote:

    LOL! Your new venture in self expression is boring him? Maybe you should get him a camera of his own, so he can outlet his own self expression — while you do yours! He is an artist, after all (right?)

  26. Andy Worthington says...

    No, my son doesn’t really get bored, Jennah. He’s just mildly challenging me, as he grows up. He’s actually hugely imaginative and artistic, and I bought him a camera before we went to Italy. Just need to find the time to help him to start putting photos online.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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