Trees in our landscape

Wanstead Flats crow by Tony MorrisonWanstead Flats crow by Tony Morrison

As a tree-themed photography exhibition opens at the Temple in Wanstead Park, Gill James celebrates our local arboreal treasures.

Last month saw the launch of the National Tree Charter, which at last gives proper recognition to the value of our trees. It launched on 6 November, which was also the 800th anniversary of the Forest Charter, a document in many ways more important than the Magna Carta, which granted rights to the common people for the use of our forests.

By happy coincidence, November also saw the launch of the latest photographic exhibition on the theme of trees at the Temple in Wanstead Park, which aims to show not only the beauty of local trees in different seasons, but also their place in the local ecology and landscape.

Wanstead Park, Wanstead Flats and Epping Forest make great hunting grounds for amateur photographers, and the Wren Wildlife and Conservation Group were amazed to receive over 200 submissions from 26 local snappers. The quality of photos was so good and the subject matter so varied that selecting 21 shots to be printed and framed for the exhibition was tough! It was very gratifying that so many people responded by actually going out and observing and photographing trees when they might not have done so otherwise.

Not only is it the venue for this display, the Temple is a beautiful historic building in its own right. Why not combine a visit to this free local treasure with a brisk winter walk in the park and a warming drink at the nearby tea hut?

The Trees in the Landscape photography exhibition will be on display at the Temple in Wanstead Park until 31 March 2018 (free; open weekends only from 10am to 3pm).

For more information on the Wren Wildlife and Conservation Group, visit

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