Wren Practical Work is back

           Organised by Pete Williams

     Sessions start at 10-00 until 12-30    

 Check the Diary for the days and venue


Solidarity with the Orient Way Park Friends

Just outside the south eastern corner of the Wren Wildlife Recording Area is a small pocket park sandwiched between two major roads (including Orient Way), a train track, residential housing and warehouses. The Pocket Park contains 125 trees, some scrub area, some unmown verges and, and some landscaped lawns.

The whole area, including 122 of the 125 trees are under threat of destruction to build new housing. The local residents held a community activity and protest day on Bank Holiday Monday (30 August) which members of the Wren Group visited to show solidarity.

Orient Way Park Friends are concerned that they they are about to lose some green and tree-filled space in this highly urban area. They are concerned about the destruction of trees during this time of climate crisis, the loss of community space, and increased flood risk.

In a brief, informal survey, the Wren Group recorded at least seven species of tree growing in the area; including some mature specimen trees that have previously been subject to Tree Preservation Orders.

James Heal, Chair of the Wren Group, said: “I met a number of passionate community spirited residents – effectively neighbours of the Wren Group – desperately trying to save a precious green space on their doorstep. Whilst I am very aware of the challenges that come from housing shortages, it surely cannot be right to be destroying green space and removing hundreds of trees during this time of climate crisis. Whilst we visited my son played with other children in amongst the trees, making banners, and collecting fallen leaves to make leaf crowns; its seems a tragic shame that this is all due to end. On the bus journey back from the action day my wife and I saw derelict warehouse space which would surely be more suited to redevelopment than destroying a tree-lined park?”


Let’s hope that Waltham Forest Council listen carefully to the concerns raised by the local residents.


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.


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 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.



Virtual Field Meeting 17

January 6th 19-30

The Antarctic

An illustrated talk by Wren member Dave Playford on his trip from Ushuaia to Antarctica aboard the GAdventure expedition ship. He spent 6 days making trips on to the ice of the Antarctic Peninsula viewing thousands of penguins and other birds such as albatross, sheathbills, blued eyed cormorants and skuas . Leopard and huge elephant seals were also seen. Photographs will be shown of all the wildlife as well as icebergs and the incredible beauty of the Antarctic landscape.


Wren Field Meeting


For tickets use QR code or click below:



Wren Newsletter Autumn 2021

Click below to download:



                    Virtual Field Meeting 16

     The Epping Forest Cows

            in Wanstead Park

     7th September at 19-30

John Phillips the Grazing and Landscape Project Officer responsible for cattle grazing, will be explaining the ecological impact of the English Longhorn cattle in the forest and why they come to visit Wanstead Park once a year, the benefits for biodiversity and their part in the natural cycle of life.

    If you missed this talk listen here:      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpwrKOgiEVk



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.  

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.