The Great North Wood was once a vast area of coppice and wooded commons stretching seven miles from Deptford to Croydon – forested continuously since at least 1600. The photographs here were made in one of the few remaining fragments of this wood, which have slowly been overrun by the expansion of London’s suburbs.
The woodland is very varied – in parts dense, in others more open. As you walk, you cross a disused railway track that was once painted by Pissarro. It’s hard to feel that you are still in south London – it is an extraordinary place of tranquillity.
One of the things that keeps drawing me back is the wide variety of birds. You hear them more often than you see them. On my walks I relied on an app to identify them, and I began cataloguing their names in a notebook. I made a field recording of the dawn chorus, which became part of the project itself.
The act of making photographs in the woods provided an excuse for me to slow down and stop, to look and be present in the moment. Using a single small camera with a fixed lens added to the sense of simplicity I wanted to capture. The final images you see here are all as they were taken, with no cropping or editing. I wanted to show the place as it is, and as I saw it.