Hoofing about the waterways of East London is becoming a regular activity for me and Nina Pope, researching a commission we have accepted from the (wait for it, fanfare) Olympic Development Authority

In Springfield Park (near Clapton) we passed the greenhouses of the acclaimed Growing Concerns organic low-carbon (etc etc) veg supplier. More interesting to look at though were these extraordinary, reptilian trees determined to grow on the very top of this 2m high tumble-down wall. Leafless, it’s hard to guess what brutish species they are – elder or ash is my guess – but hats off to them whatever they are, for sheer tenacity.