Wild side of Wanstead

Building a log pile – one way to encourage wildlife

A community project which aims to create a “multi-garden nature reserve” in the heart of Wanstead is being launched this week in an attempt to help compensate for loss of green space.

Wild Wanstead is encouraging residents to add their own gardens, balconies or outdoor space to a “jigsaw nature reserve” by adding pollinator-friendly flowers and other small changes such as building log piles.

Organiser Susie Knox said: “The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world and many birds, insects and other creatures are in a period of sharp decline. London’s gardens make up nearly a quarter of the capital’s area and play a vital role as a home for wildlife. But like other parts of the city, gardens in Wanstead are getting squeezed as room is needed for parking, patios and extensions. Actively using the space that’s left to help wildlife can make a big difference.”

Several local green spaces have already got involved in Wild Wanstead including St. Mary’s Churchyard and the Corner House garden. Acting together to improve wildlife habitats in built-up areas of Wanstead will help nurture a vital green corridor linking the Flats, Wanstead Park, Epping Forest and the River Roding, Susie says, so that “birds, insects and other creatures can thrive on our doorsteps”.

People who are interested can find out more at www.wildwanstead.org or pick up a leaflet from The Stow Brothers or Heads ‘N’ Tails on Wanstead High Street. There’s also a Facebook group at  facebook.com/groups/WildWanstead/