I really love spending time in places where nature overlaps with the man-made, – in particular spaces that wildlife is reclaiming back from abdandoned and derelict industrial structures – industrural if you will (ok so I probably don’t have a great career as a creator of catchy portmanteaus ahead of me). So walking through woods on a path formed of a disused railway, sitting by a river under a motorway bridge, floating past an abandoned steel plant on a canal boat – I’m in clover!
Don’t get me wrong, I also enjoy walking through truly wild and natural places but I do get a special kind of thrill from these crossover habitats that is hard to explain. Possibly it’s because I have long loved any kind of dystopian/post-apocalyptic story and these kind of places seem to give a glimpse of a world where everything has changed and serve as a stark reminder of the impermanence of human civilisation.
Perhaps it’s also because I am massively a city lover AND a nature lover and often feel torn between them so enjoy places which have elements of both. I’m lucky to have a lot of places nearby where I can enjoy these kind of walks. One of my absolute top spots is an old railway bridge which has these sort of basket-like structures underneath in which you can sit and peep out at the river beneath.
Oh, and maybe it’s partly the influence of my obsessive repeat listening to Coming Up by Suede when I was young, what with songs like Picnic by the Motorway….
I think one of my favourite parts of these wanderings…. I especially like to see in these places is graffiti. I generally prefer the term street art but that really doesn’t apply to some of the random scribblings spotted on remote abandoned railways bridges such as:
Makes me smile every time. I like to imagine it’s been their since the glory days of….er…Morning Glory.
Not that there aren’t some more colourful works to spot out there too. It never ceases to amazes me how far some people will go with their spray paints!
It’s not *all* about the rusty and overgrown spots. This littlw jetty for canal boats is in pretty good nick and a lovely little spot for lunch.
I don’t tend to take many ‘people’ pictures on these wanderings but have managed to find a couple from years gone by.
Taking a bottle of bubbles is always recommended 🙂