Post-apocalyptic landscape: What to expect.

Post Apocalypse, the world is going to change. That’s the single most obvious thing I’ve ever said, and the regular readers of this blog are currently pulling an exaggeratedly ‘stupid’ face. But humans have a tendency to assume things will stay how they are. Even though we know things change, when change actually happens, we act as if someone just kicked our puppy in front of us.
So, I’m not being stupid. Think of it as trying to drum the obvious into your thick skulls.
Now, obviously at this stage I have NO IDEA what type of apocalyspe there’ll be, or how it’ll change the landscape, so I’m just going to go for the obvious changes that happen to anywhere when people stop living there. Char already covered what to do and focus on if the world becomes a desert, so I won’t bother repeating that.
Instead, here are some things to think about.

Plant growth.

Plants grow fast. Especially weeds. If you live in a damp, fertile climate like me, this is not a surprise to you. What might be a surprise is how that can change things.
Have you ever wandered around an abandoned building? If you have, picture it in your minds eye. Look at what happened to the concrete outside it, cracked and crumbling, with weeds pushing through. That can happen in less than a year. Imagine how that would look after ten, twenty years with no human meddling. Yeah.
Why is this a problem? For a start, the ground becomes unsafe, easy to trip on. Secondly, a place you remember as safe to hide in could be completely overgrown when you get there, and then you’re stuck.

Crumbling buildings

Sure, this will take a while, but without human intervention buildings collapse pretty fast. Any house owner knows how much work in takes in maintaining their home, how storms can ruin your roof and allow water into the building, how wear and tear can slowly erode your home..
Well, without humans, what do you think is going to happen? Again, going to use abandoned buildings. Find one. Look at it. Look at the damage not done by bored teenagers. Crumbling brickwork, sagging roof. That’s after a year, two years. What about after twenty, thirty? No building, or a dangerous one.

Swampland.

I live in a part of the country that’s pretty damn damp. We have marshes, miles of them, kept under control by owners and drainage systems. The Romans were the first to drain the fens, and we’ve been fighting against them ever since. Well, post apocalypse, there isn;t going to be anyone to drain them. Slowly, the marshes, fresh water, salt water, it doesn’t matter- will reclaim the land. We have such good farming land here because of the marshes. The city is small because of the marshes. But without people to keep them in check they will creep back.
This means much less farmable or settleable land. Much less. And it’ll happen quickly, as well.
 

Mould.

In cold, damp climates, Mould grows fast. Once a year, me and my husband have to pull out the furniture and scrub the mould off the walls, and we aren’t the only ones.
Mould is vicious. Spores can get into the lungs, irritating them, making you sick. In a post apocalypse scenario, it could get into your food stores and then you have no food. And the worst of it is, if you live in a damp, swampy place there isn’t much you can do about it. Mould and rot and assorted issues are a fact of life here.
 
Now, obviously I can only speak with authority about what will (probably) happen to my own landscape. We’d love to hear about what you think would happen to yours- answer in the comments, or if you think you could write something longer, contact us.
 
 

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