Head to Canary Wharf – London’s newest financial centre with its shiny metal and glass towers – and you find yourself in a pristine, modern space.
Mud and mess would be an anathema here and yet just a short walk from here is Mudchute Farm – the largest city farm in London, developed on the spoil piled up from the docks that were built here in the 1860s.
As you approach the entrance to Mudchute Farm, you cannot know what you will see over the top of the hill that slows down your walking pace as you slip back to a time before the docks were built here when this was open land.
And here there is a hand written notice, saying simply, BEE HIVES, in complete contrast to all the digitally produced signs of Canary Wharf.
Horses and cattle are grazing along with sheep and goats. Roses ramble free from the constraints of enthusiastic gardeners.
There are paths and bridleways to follow all around the farm alongside wooden fences and sprawling hedgerows. The leaves of the silver birches glisten in the sunshine and rustle in the wind, creating a metallic sound. Even when there is hardly a breeze and the leaves on the other trees are motionless these leaves are never still.
There is the unmistakable smell of the farmyard wafting across from the barns and stables.
The horses are led out of here for riding lessons, where they move obediently and gracefully ready for the lucky children who will spend an hour trotting around the lanes of Mudchute Farm.
Walk from Mud Chute Station