February 2021

News

Campaign launched to save 10 species at risk of extinction in Wanstead

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A campaign to save 10 species at risk of extinction in Wanstead has been launched to mark World Wildlife Day this month.

The Endangered in Wanstead campaign is a collaboration between the Wren Wildlife and Conservation Group, Wild Wanstead and the London Wildlife Trust, who have produced a guide to helping the animals under threat. The 10 species include the skylark, hedgehog, common toad and house sparrow.

“It’s not too late to turn things around for these creatures. If we create the right habitats in our gardens and parks, it will help populations recover and nature will have a chance to thrive locally,” said Chris Gannaway of the London Wildlife Trust.

For the rest of the year, the Wanstead Village Directory will be profiling a different species each month, beginning with the tawny mining bee.

Visit wnstd.com/the10

Features

Endangered in Wanstead

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The Wren Wildlife Group, London Wildlife Trust and Wild Wanstead have compiled a list of 10 species at risk of local extinction. In the first of a series of articles looking at each species in turn, Tony Madgwick, London Natural History Society Recorder for Bees and Wasps, explains how to help the tawny mining bee

Of the more than 270 species of wild bees in the UK, the furry and orangey-red tawny mining bees are one of the more distinctive and recognisable species! You will see them on the wing from early April until mid-June.

Females are a little bigger and stockier than honey bees, with thick reddish hair on the thorax and dense orange hair on the abdomen. Their legs and heads are completely black. The males are less distinctive, being a little smaller, thinner and browner, and with a white moustache over their long mandibles.

Tawny mining bees are a solitary bee – looking after themselves rather than living in a colony with a queen like honey bees and bumblebees. The females make an underground nest where they lay their eggs and store pollen for food so that the young bees can develop before emerging the following year. Each nest has a little volcano-like mound of soil around the mouth of the burrow with a four-millimetre hole in the top. Each female works alone to create her family home, although it’s common to see many nests close together.

Tawny mining bees are important for humans because they pollinate garden plants, fruit trees and crops like oil-seed rape. Indeed, their flight season peaks to coincide with spring-blossoming shrubs.

Tawny mining bees are common nationally, but they can only thrive in places where their habitat is protected. In Wanstead, the sunny, grassy areas where the bees need to nest are under pressure from the paving of gardens, use of artificial grass, and building and development. Bees are thought to be at risk from climate change because rising temperatures can disrupt the synchronisation between when the insects emerge and the flowering of their food plants. Wild bees in cities compete with urban honey bees for early season forage. The growing numbers of urban bee hives means that we should be providing more early and diverse flowering plants and shrubs to support our wild bees. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the population of tawny mining bees in urban Wanstead has declined, although there is a stable population in Wanstead Park.

There are several ways you can help tawny mining bees:

If you see nests in your garden or the park, leave them be. These bees love to nest in managed lawns or flower beds. The small mounds typically only last for a few days or weeks every year and do no lasting damage to lawns. It would be great if you could help us to record these nest sites.

Plant the spring-flowering shrubs and flowers that tawny mining bees love, such as salvia, galanthus (snowdrops), echinacea, cosmos, verbena, willow, raspberries, fruit trees and wild flowers. There are varieties of fruit trees and flowering shrubs for gardens of every shape and size, and many can easily be grown in tubs.

Never use pesticides or weedkillers in your garden. Instead, aim to attract lots of different wildlife to keep things in balance, using biological pest control if necessary.

Lift plastic grass and paving slabs and replace with a lawn. Go no-mow in May to encourage dandelions and buttercups. In a south-facing part of your garden, construct a small earthy bank – the perfect real estate for a variety of different wild bees to build their nest holes.

To contact Tony for information on recording tawny mining bee nest sites, email bees@lnhs.org.uk

For more information about the 10 species under threat of extinction in Wanstead, visit wnstd.com/the10

News

Police message for Wanstead

IMG-20210212-WA0013PC King (left) and PC Bryant

The police have issued a message for local residents.

“The Wanstead area has seen a recent spike in overnight burglaries. In a lot of cases, entry to properties has been made through the front door, where occupants have either failed to lock the door at all, or in the case of UPVC-style doors, they have not been properly double-locked from within. Residents are urged to securely lock all doors and windows, including porches,” said a police spokesperson.

News

Local resident becomes first youth trustee for anti-exploitation charity

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Wanstead teenager Elsa Arnold – founder of the Spreading Kindness Through E11 initiative – has become the first youth trustee for Freedom 2, a charity that supports girls at risk of exploitation.

“Freedom 2 work with schools and youth groups to empower girls and provide them with opportunities to gain new skills, build their confidence and know their self-worth. I share a lot of values with the charity’s work and I am really looking forward to making a difference to the lives of young people,” said Elsa.

Visit wnstd.com/f2

News

Safer Neighbourhood Team seeking members for Wanstead ward panels

IMG-20210212-WA0013PC King (left) and PC Bryant

Local police are seeking new members to join the Wanstead Village and Wanstead Park ward panels.

“In order to ensure the work of each Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) is focussed on resolving problems in the ward, each ward requires a panel, made up of people whose role is to assess local concerns, identified through community engagement and analysis. The panel gives direction and local advice to the SNTs. This allows us to establish priorities for policing in that ward,” said a police spokesperson.

Email SNTJI-Wanstead-Village@met.police.uk

News

More Wanstead homes needed to join the Tin in a Bin Network

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A network of foodbank collection points is seeking more homes in the local area to participate in the initiative.

“Tin in a Bin (TinaB) is a network of homes across Wanstead, Aldersbrook and South Woodford, each with a bin where generous neighbours can drop donations. Sadly, the need for food support is growing rapidly, and we are now hoping to expand the network from its current 40-plus collection sites,” said a spokesperson for TinaB, which launched in April 2020 and supports a wide range of charities.

Visit wnstd.com/tinab

News

School Streets consultation responses under review

Screenshot-2021-01-19-at-10.25.22Local schools set to be included in the scheme include: Aldersbrook Primary School (pictured), Wanstead Church School, Snaresbrook Primary School and Nightingale Primary School

Redbridge Council is analysing responses to its School Streets consultation.

If the initiative is implemented, it will see non-residential traffic banned from certain streets near schools – including Wanstead Church School and Aldersbrook Primary School – for an hour at the start and end of each school day.

“We are grateful to all who took the time to input into the consultation. We are now considering the responses as we decide how to proceed,” said Councillor Jo Blackman, Cabinet Member for Environment and Civic Pride.

News

Consultation on electric vehicle charging points across Wanstead

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Redbridge Council is proposing to install new electric vehicle charging points (EVCPs) and associated bays on streets across Wanstead.

“The main objective of the proposed on-street EVCPs is to support the transition to cleaner cars. As the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2030, the council is working on providing sufficient infrastructure to meet demand,” said a spokesperson.

A total of 36 EVCPs are proposed for the west of the borough.

A consultation runs until 18 March.

Visit wnstd.com/evcp