Closer to Nature


The Wren Wildlife Group will host the Wanstead Wildlife Weekend this month. Everyone is invited to join them in Wanstead Park and on Wanstead Flats to get a little closer to nature. Gill James outlines the events taking place

The Wren Wildlife and Conservation Group was founded in 1972. We’ve spent the last 50 years helping to promote and protect the wildlife of the Wanstead area and its surrounds, and helping to bring the people of East London closer to the wildlife around them. This month, we continue that tradition by inviting you to Wanstead Park and Wanstead Flats on the weekend of 24 and 25 June for the Wanstead Wildlife Weekend. Come and discover what’s living on your doorstep! There are activities for all ages.

Moth traps
Saturday 24 June, 6am (Wanstead Park)
Saturday starts bright and early with moth expert Tim Harris revealing what moths he has caught overnight in his moth trap. Meet at the Temple; no booking required. 

Wildlife walk
Saturday 24 June, 10am (Wanstead Park)
Those looking for a later start to the day can join an introductory wildlife walk for all ages with Redbridge Nature Conservation leader Tajinder Lachhar, who will be pointing out the different plants, insects and birds of Wanstead Park. Meet at the Tea Hut; booking required.

Spider safari
Saturday 24 June, 2pm (Wanstead Flats)
On Saturday afternoon, we are delighted to welcome back a man who knows all about spiders, David Carr, who will be on Wanstead Flats leading the great spider safari. Prepare to be amazed. Meet at Centre Road car park; no booking required.

Family workshops
Saturday 24 June, (Wanstead Park)
Take part in a butterfly workshop for families, with hands-on activities, including making butterfly feeders; or join a workshop for older children, learning about our fascinating birds of prey. Meet at the Temple enclosure (times to be confirmed); booking required.

Art ramble
Sunday 25 June, 10am (Wanstead Park)
Discover your inner artist on Sunday morning with Jo Wood, who will be leading an art ramble in Wanstead Park for adults. Meet at the Tea Hut; booking required.

Sunday 25 June, 10am & 11am (Wanstead Park)
Children will love collecting and identifying the small creatures to be found in the Shoulder of Mutton Pond. There will be two one-hour sessions, one for younger children at 10am (four- to nine-year-olds) and one for older children at 11am (all children must be accompanied by an adult). Pond nets and experts provided, but bring your own wellies! Booking required.

Macro photography workshop
Sunday 25 June, 2pm (Wanstead Flats)
A local photographer will be showing you how to capture nature’s minute beauty with a camera, photographing insects, such as damselflies and bees. Suitable for adults. Meet at Centre Road car park; booking required.

Climate picnic
Sunday 25 June, 12 noon to 2pm (Wanstead Park)
On Sunday afternoon, we are delighted to be able to welcome families into the newly opened Woodland Play Area in Wanstead Park (behind the Temple). Join in the Great Big Picnic celebrating the Mayor of London’s Community Weekend (bring your own grub). No booking required.

Insect stories
Sunday 25 June, 2pm (Wanstead Park)
The picnic will be followed by an insect-themed storytelling session led by costumed actors. Suitable for three- to six-year-olds. Meet at the Woodland Play Area; no booking required. 

Minibeast hunt
Sunday 25 June, 3pm (Wanstead Park)
Kids will love becoming nature detectives and joining the hunt to see what creepy-crawlies they can find hiding under the leaves and logs. There will also be activities such as identifying trees and animal hide and seek. Meet at the Woodland Play Area; no booking required. 

Wren Group information tent
Both days, 10am to 4pm (Wanstead Park)
More serious nature detectives will be collecting information and recording what animals and plants we can all find and identify over the weekend. Local naturalist Tricia Moxey will be totalling up all the finds to see how rich the biodiversity in our area is. And on Sunday, the Aldersbrook Horticultural Society will be giving advice on how to encourage wildlife in your garden.

Wanstead Wildlife Weekend will take place on 24 and 25 June. For more information, and to book events, visit wnstd.com/wren