Then it was along to Elephant and Castle and the Heygate estate, now mostly boarded up and near-empty after the council moved out most of the residents in preparation for a long-delayed demolition and regeneration plan. In the middle of the tower blocks are tomato plants growing in old car tyres, and carefully tended allotments behind the trees that have finally reached maturity, just as the estate they bring shade to has passed its use-by date. This started out as a "guerilla gardening" project by local residents but is now tolerated by the authorities.
|Allotments on the Heygate estate. Picture: Elephant and Castle Urban Forest|
In terms of other wild food, I saw mallow in abundance in the parks - the leaves are quite tasty, in a slighty glutinous way, and common in North African cuisine. These were mostly a bit insect-ridden though, so I didn't bother sampling them.
And it hardly counts as wild food, but the pub at the end of the walk in Crystal Palace (the Grape and Grain) was selling London Glider Cider, made from unwanted and windfall apples in Woodford Green. A perfect end to a walk of unexpected edibles.