Cultivater: Barney Thomas (Wiley Badger)

Barney Thomas and Sarah Drumm launched this summer and are currently preparing the second edition of the quarterly free magazine, Wily Badger. With a hyper-local focus around Clapton in Hackney, the print edition and blog they’ve been building aims to celebrate the businesses and people that make Clapton such a desirable place to live.

For those who don’t know it as an area it’s not the easiest of places to get to but the streets of Victorian houses, the proximity to the Lee Valley and the general greenery has attracted a recent influx of people ready to invest energy in their neighbourhood and as Barney explains in the interview below, this is undeniably having an effect.

(See our in-depth piece on Chatsworth Road, one of Clapton’s shopping hubs)

Although Barney is very open to all the possibilities and directions the Wily Badger could take, he does have a very clear vision: The blog/website is for the day to day listings, events, business promotion, the magazine is more in-depth and themed with a strong ambition to be non time-sensitive so it remains relevant. It’s a magazine you keep.  Future events will be a way to mobilise and connect the local businesses, ventures and residents always expanding on that sense of community that is so prevalent and unquestionably sought after in this corner of East London. 



The Growth of Hyper-Local Media

Celebrating and documenting a specific local area through free print + website formats has been a growing trend over the past few years, it’s understandable, people move into an area, love what it has to offer and want to use their skills to become fully immersed, sharing their enthusiasm with the like-minded locals.

Here are a few we’ve spotted:

The Dalstonist, created by journalist Mark Wilding, what is fast becoming the voice of Dalston began as a blog and is now also quality free quarterly covering Dalston, its people and its eccentricities.

The Peckham Peculiar created by Peckham residents Mark McGanlay and Katie White.

The Kentishtowner, website and quarterly  newspaper specific to Kentish town and North London. Created by writer and journalist Stephen Emms and awarded funding by Nesta in 2012. They are now launching a South London.
(Incidentally Nesta created a Destination-Local initiative with a view to support hyper-local media services, and have written a report that you can download here)

 Useful Stuff

Upper_Clapton  (Not to be confused with Eric Clapton)

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