Southwark district is not the greenest of the neighbourhoods, but it is very walkable and riverside adds a lot to the area. When I lived in the area I used to walk to Borough Market on Saturdays along the riverbank. This was my weekend treat and making this map has a been another stroll down the memory lane.
I base this map on the previous design so I don’t need to make the full sketch again. Instead I start with planning my route and as I know the area well this part of the process is like ‘a walk in the park’!
Working on this this map is not as phased as previous one -I work simultaneously on all layers, roughly sketching in the map. By the end of the day I have solid base map with some landmarks.
Next morning I’m filling in the rest of the map – finishing the grid, adding street names and adjusting the trail. I’m also adding some street trees by the river to make it ‘leafier’.
And it’s finished! Hope some of you will enjoy this walk as much as I enjoyed making it. 🤞🍃
Since it’s been a while I made a proper walking map I felt it was about a time to get back into map making! I chose Clerkenwell as it used to be inside my lunch radius and I spent many happy hours exploring the area over my lunch breaks. Some of the breaks got longer than intended, but I like to think I made it up by staying late.. on most days. 😉
I am starting the map with a research on internet and making a rough area sketch with some landmarks on my sketch pad. This is a nice task and I’m really enjoying it, spending most of my morning doing this. The area hasn’t changed a lot, but I want to make sure I’m including everything important and my map is up to date.
It’s Saturday so I’m going for a little walk after lunch to a book festival near local park. It’s quite nice and I’m inspired to tackle my next task after I return. I open the Google Maps and roughly sketch out the walking path. It doesn’t have to be accurate at this point as I can always adjust it later.
I continue on Monday. My research done I now need to digitalise the map. After a late start (I’m out of coffee so I need to refuel!) I spend the noon tracing in the base map. I work from Google Maps screenshot and first trace in the green spaces and main streets, then smaller streets. I’m also deciding the colours for the map.
I continue filling in my map on afternoon and it’s going well for couple of hours. I add the walking path and some street names on my base map. I also start adding the landmarks, working on Google maps simultaneously. I decide to expand my path further north and need to work out the extension. At this point I’m also adding the title and it really starts to look like a proper map!
I take a coffee break at four and keep working, adding some icons. At around 8 I compare the map with the earlier version and don’t think it’s going on right direction.. It feels too heavy, so I’m reverting back to 4 o’clock version. I want to keep the map light and airy and to save the day I’m adding lines under landmarks instead. At this point I also decide to add a legend and make the title more prominent. I’m finishing around midnight. 🌙
Next morning I am finalising the map. I’m deciding to add more street names as my map should be actually walkable, not only an illustration. I’m also adjusting the trail and making little fixes here and there.. Finally I’m adding some texture to ‘age’ the map and it’s done! And here’s the final version of the Green Clerkenwell Walking Map.
Londoners have always been innovative with introducing new species and some of the trees and wildlife now taken granted in London are actually, on the timeline of natural history, quite new. Some introduced species become naturalised and we tend to forget they actually have foreign origins. And then there are new ‘invasive’ species who also have found home in London.
The timeline does not include all non-native species (very far from it!), but a tiny selection to illustrate when different species have arrived and became part of the city. Personally I think they enrich London and make it more interesting and vibrant place, but everyone are welcome to their own opinion. 😊
Non-native species now settled in London
Apple Now naturalised fruit tree in UK is actually from Asia and was first cultivated in Britain by Romans. It’s likely apple has been grown in London since its foundation, nearly 2000 years ago!
Fallow Deer Fallow Deer are also introduced to Europe from Asia and were first brought to UK around 11 century by Normans. It’s now become a common deer in UK and London parks alongside the red deer.
Rabbit Yes, rabbit also travelled to Britain from mainland Europe with Normans. Now widespread in UK and London parks, the rabbit hasn’t been around for longer than 800 years!
Sycamore Now naturalised tree from mainland Europe was introduced around middle ages, more than 500 years ago and is now a common tree of London’s urban forest.
Horse Chestnut Horse Chestnut is actually from Turkey and was brought to UK on late 16th century. It’s another loved non-native tree that has found a home on London streets and in parks.
London Plane One of the most common street trees in London was introduced from Spain in 17th century, but this hardy urbanised tree is actually a hybrid of oriental and American plane.
Great White Pelican The pelican has been around in St James’s Park since 1664 when first birds were gifted to London by ambassador from Russia. 40 pelicans have since lived in the park (corrected).
Weeping Willow This willow is native in Northern China and was first seen in London in 1700s. It’s often found near ponds, rivers and canals thanks to its dramatic drooping branches.
Canada Goose A native in North-America this large goose has been around for around 300 years, spread widely on 20th century and is now the most common goose around London park lakes.
Egyptian Goose This African native has been an ornamental bird since 18th century, but made an escape and has now made a permanent home of London parks mainly because of the milder winters.
Grey Squirrel The most known London species of non-natives has been running wild in London since 1870s. Originally a guest from North-America the Grey Squirrel has taken over London and most of the country.
Little Owl Brought over from Europe in late 1880s little owl is now quite common in England and Wales and can be spotted hunting in leafier parts of London urban forrest.
Mandarin Duck This colourful bird from Far East was also part of the ornamental waterfowl before breaking into freedom in 20th century and now living freely on London park lakes.
Ring-Necked Parakeet The only resident parrot in UK is originally from Africa and Asia. First spotted in London nearly half a century ago it settled permanently in over last few decades.