Hidden Gems

A series of short walks and mini-bioblitzes in some of the less often visited parts of the Wren Wildlife & Conservation Group recording area

Many of our members and locals will know well the main green spaces of our focus area in the southern part of Epping Forest: Wanstead Flats, Wanstead Park, and Hollow Ponds & Leyton Flats.

However, have you visited:

  • The Old Sewage Works

  • Gilbert’s Slade

  • St Mary’s Churchyard, Wanstead

  • The Pastures, Leytonstone

  • The City of London Cemetery

  • Manor Park Cemetery

  • Bush Wood North 

  • St John’s Churchyard, Leytonstone

  • Royston Gardens meadow

  • Redbridge Lane Allotments

Starting on 31 July, the Wren Group will lead a series of family-friendly short walks and invertebrate hunts to explore some of these places and the wildlife that can be found there. Whether you are a keen invertebrate recorder or you just want to visit some new places locally, please join us and keep an eye out for future events in the series.

We shall kick off with a butterfly-focused walk in the Old Sewage Works (to the south east of Wanstead Park)

31 July meeting near the Aldersbrook Riding School Stables at 10.00



Saturday 26 June

Wren Wildlife & Conservation Group will be holding its first in-person/physical meetings

Please do join us for one or both walks


10am – Wanstead Park (meet by Wren stand near the Tea Hut)

A botany-focused walk led by local naturalist, Tricia Moxey

FREE but please book to give us a sense of numbers:



2pm – Wanstead Park (meet by Wren stand near the Tea Hut)

An invertebrate-focused ‘expert showcase’ walk where we get to watch (from a safe distance) as experts show us what insects and other invertebrates can be found locally and the techniques that can be used to find and study them.

FREE but please book to give us a sense of numbers: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/wren-wildlife-conservation-group/t-eeqkqd 

Whilst both activities are free, please sign-up using so that we can get an idea of numbers.

As it is a weekend, some free parking should be found in the surrounding area.



The Spring 2021 Wren Newsletter, click below:

Wren NewsletterSpring21


Beware of Giant Hogweed

How to recognise it, with Wren member Mirza

Wanstead Moths And Butterflies

A fully illustrated report written by local expert Tim Harris – click below

Wanstead Moths_Report 2020(1)


Help Save our Skylarks

Many of you will be aware of the skylarks on Wanstead Flats and will have heard them singing as they soar into the sky lifting everyone’s spirits with them.

Unfortunately they have been unable to breed successfully for several years due to several factors including some unintentional disturbance from humans and dogs. 

Disturbance can cause birds to abandon their nests and any young birds may flee, get lost and end up starving to death.
We are in danger of losing the last few of this critically endangered species. They have already disappeared from Leyton Flats.
For this reason fencing will be installed this year at the end of February to try and protect any that remain and hopefully allow them to breed. While the fencing is going up members of the Wren group will be around as much as possible to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to approach us – at a safe distance of course.



Wren 2020 Winter Newsletter

out now

Go to Newsletter Page or click here Winter 2020 Newsletter

 Wren Practical Work is Back

    Important volunteer work to maintain the Bluebell Woods and other areas in Wanstead Park. See Diary for dates and Meeting site.

Starting on Thursday, the Meetings have been approved for the November Lockdown

Please try to bring your own gloves, and don’t share Wren tools but stick to one set. Otherwise we will work fairly normally at a social distance.



Wren Newsletter

Summer 2021

Click below to download:




Virtual Field Meeting 15

Prof. Anson Mackay will  talk on

Ancient Lake Baikal: the Sacred Sea

Lake Baikal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most incredible ecosystems on our planet. It is situated in southern Siberia, one of the most continental regions on earth. It is the oldest, deepest, most voluminous lake in the world. Given its size and depth, Baikal alone contains 20% of the world’s surface freshwater (that is, freshwater not locked up in the ice caps or glaciers). And because of its great age (over 25 million years) over 75% of the thousands of species found in the lake are found nowhere else in the world today; from plants and animals that can only be seen through a microscope, to the world’s only truly freshwater seal. But the lake is under major threat from pollution and climate change, and an increasingly globalised economy. 
Professor Anson Mackay (UCL & Bushwood!) is one of the world’s leading experts on the environmental history of Lake Baikal. He will provide us with an introduction to this amazing ecosystem, how it came to be so special, and a scientific perspective on pressures facing the lake in the past, in the now, and into the future.  

Thursday 27th May at 19-30

Register now, it’s free, at:


VFM 14 Swifts

from Edward Meyer 

Thursday 22nd April 7pm

Edward Meyer is an expert on these summer migrants and will tell their amazing story.


Virtual Field Meeting 13

The South of Epping Forest:

a brief History

Listen to theTalk here:

Mark’s new book on the subject will be out in May 2021.




VFM 12 The lichens of Wanstead

This will be an introduction to the weird and wonderful world of lichens, present nearly everywhere but largely unnoticed. A lichen is not a single organism. It is a symbiotic relationship between a fungus and a photosynthetic algae and/or cyanobacteria.

In his talk, Bob will introduce us to some of the fascinating local lichens, what to look out for, and perhaps where you might find them….

If you missed it a recoding is available at: https://youtu.be/LPty0hXjnrA


Plans for the Restoration of  the Mortuary Site on Manor Park Flats revealed:

click link below to download and read



The History of Eping Forest



The Wren Recording Area

 A short presentation outlining our local patch and the grid squares to use for recording purposes.

Click on the pdf below:

The Wren Wildlife Recording Area