An insect geek, bugged by hipsters swarming around her patch, has imagined a miniature version of gentrified Peckham in her local park.
Every day for four years, Penny Metal (nee Frith) has gone to photograph the bug’s life in Warwick Gardens off Lyndhurst Way. But recently she has started to notice the parallels with the 433 species she has snapped and the changing face of SE15.
In a map (centre) posted on her blog, insectinside.me she divides the park into four ‘Quarters’ – “the poncey name for neighbourhoods.”
There is the ‘Bug Quarter’ for the “upwardly mobile” where the bearded Hipster Flies hang out. Opposite is the down at heel ‘Log Quarter’, which Penny likens to “the largest housing estate in Warwick Gardens,” full of “multiple-occupancy logs that house a wide variety of invertebrate families. ….this is one area that will be earmarked for redevelopment in the future once all the residents have decomposed it.”
The ‘Football Quarter’ is named after the nearby pitch and features the main “food boulevard.”
“This is the place to celebrity spot the flamboyant dragonflies, butterflies and jewel wasps who visit in the summer,” writes Penny, whose tongue-in-cheek turn around the park has a sting in the tail about the changing nature of Peckham.
“Everyone seems to have swarmed in and taken over,” said the freelance graphic designer, who has lived in Choumert Road for twenty years. “It’s like this current wave over the last couple of years have been walking in and changing the furniture without your permission or consideration.”
“The poncey names and descriptions do my head in. It’s a café not a kitchen. I’d just like to live somewhere cheap and cheerful thanks very much,” she said.
A self-confessed “nerd”, Penny has always been buzzing about bugs, describing herself as a “total bumble-bee head” but has developed an impressive obsession through her photography project. With the help of her blog, she hopes to infect others with her enthusiasm for creepy crawlies and get everybody making a note of the species they see on a daily basis at www.gigl.org.uk who catalogue wildlife sightings across London.