Redbridge Group of the London Wildlife Trust Survey

Posted by:wrengroup | Posted on: April 6th, 2016 | 0 Comments

Please take part in the survey described below - it will only take a few minutes and is vital if we are to maintain and improve our open spaces in the Borough for nature. Please get as many people as possible to participate and press all the nature buttons including greenlinks that they can it is a very simple survey and will only take 10 minutes at most. The link will take you to the Redbridge Local plan 2015-2030 page,(which may be of interest) the open space consultation survey link is about buried halfway down the page which links to SurveyMonkey. Many Thanks Chris Gannaway for the Redbridge Group of the London Wildlife Trust The London Wildlife Trust is company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales 1600379 and registered charity number 283895. Registered Office: Dean Bradley House, 52 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 2AF

Open Space Assessment Online Consultation Survey Questionnaire

Redbridge Council is updating its information on how open spaces are used in the borough. This information will supplement existing evidence including the Open Space Study and Playing Pitches Strategy. The update involves the completion of a short online consultation survey questionnaire, which will provide the Council with a better understanding of how the borough’s open spaces are used, which parks are used most frequently, users’ satisfaction with current provision, the modes of travel used and distances travelled to open spaces. To participate in the survey, please go to: Open Space Assessment Online Consultation Survey Questionnaire

The online questionnaire can be accessed between 4th April and 1st May 2016. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the Planning Policy Team on 020 8708 2748.

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Wanstead Park Water Levels

Posted by:wrengroup | Posted on: March 14th, 2016 | 0 Comments

John Robinson has been charting changes in water levels in Wanstead Park since 2012. Here's his graphic representation of what's been happening. Wanstead Park Pond Levels
  • Click on the Chsrt to examine it in more detail.
  • The bottom (x) axis is the number of days since recording began
  • The level in Perch varies seasonally as one would expect and it is currently at a normal level for the time of year.
  • The level in Heronry is very variable, presumably as a result of periods of pumping and periods without. The recent fall in water level is clearly linked to an absence of pumping over a long period as the City of London tried to get the level down to do the work on the dam. Pumping has now restarted. There appears to be no record of when pumping has taken place and by how much.
  • The level in the Ornamental Water has fallen over the last couple of years because there has been no input from the southern end and because water is continuing to seep away through its unlined bottom. A licence has been applied for to pump from the River Roding but we have no news as yet.

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Amphibian and Reptile surveying training course

Posted by:wrengroup | Posted on: February 26th, 2016 | 0 Comments

This course will teach you how to identify frogs, toads, newts, lizards and snakes and show you techniques you can use to survey these animals. The course is free and suitable for people of all ages and levels of experience. So why not come along and see how you can help protect London's dragons!

Where: Basement room of the Temple, Wanstead Park, London, E11 2LT.

When: Saturday 9th April 2016 between 10:00 and 13:00.

How to book: email Tim Harris (

Price: Free

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WeBS counts on Wanstead Flats and in Wanstead Park 21 February 2016

Posted by:wrengroup | Posted on: February 21st, 2016 | 0 Comments

Common Teal

Today's WeBS counts on Wanstead Flats and in Wanstead Park produced some interesting finds, including a bumper total of 1200+ Common Gulls on the Flats and 22 Common Teal in the Park (close to a record for the Park). There was also a sharming Water Rail at Shoulder of Mutton but it didn't show itself. Scores on the doors (combined Flats and Park):

  • Mute Swan, 29
  • Canada Goose, 201
  • Greylag Goose, 46
  • Egyptian Goose, 4
  • Mallard, 181
  • Gadwall, 16
  • Shoveler, 49
  • Common Teal, 22
  • Pochard, 15
  • Tufted Duck, 39
  • LIttle Grebe, 3
  • Great Crested Grebe, 3
  • Cormorant, 6
  • Grey Heron, 5
  • Water Rail, 1
  • Coot, 152
  • Moorhen, 56
  • Black-headed Gull, 664+
  • Common Gull, 1214+
  • Herring Gull, 13
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull, 11
  • Great Black=backed Gull, 1

Tim Harris

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Trip to Two Tree Island

Posted by:wrengroup | Posted on: February 15th, 2016 | 0 Comments

Miscellaneous waders at Two Tree Island lagoon, including Knot, Grey Plover and Dunlin On Sunday 14 February 2016, 10 members of the Group met at West Ham station to catch the 9:13 train to Leigh-on-Sea. Even before we reached the bridge onto Two Tree Island, we had been treated to fine views of one male and two female Stonechats and a close, and surprisingly confiding, Curlew. Once onto the island we headed west to the lagoon at the far end. With the sun behind us, the vivid colours of the assembled wildfowl and waders were brilliant. Highlights included a drake Pintail, two Avocets, and good numbers of Wigeon and Teal. Jan picked out a well-hidden, sleeping Common Snipe before it became apparent that several more were asleep on the adjacent islet. The tide had turned so we were able to watched several flights over Lapwings and Brent Geese relocating over the lagoon, presumably to fields a short way inland. As the tide continued to advance we moved to the estuary hide to watch the drama unfold. First small groups, then larger flocks containing Knot and Dunlin flew up the channel to the south of Two Tree Island, spending some time feeding on the intertidal mud before moving on again. Among them were smaller number of Curlews, Bar-tailed Godwits and Grey Plover. Half the group had to leave before the tide was in full flood. For Jan, Andrew and Nev, who remained, the best was still to come. Andrew described watching "flocks of Knot, which kept breaking apart, wheeling round and round, catching the light". Ringed Plover now joined the spectacle. Back at the lagoon, there were now hundreds of waders belly-deep in water. And a Water Rail we had searched for in vain earlier decided to show itself, twice flying between islets in the lagoon. All in all, a top outing. Thanks to Andrew, Anita, Jan, Linda, Mark, Mary, Nev, Sharon, and Sybil for making the day so much fun. Tim Harris 15/2/2016

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Nature Club – February 2016

Posted by:wrengroup | Posted on: February 13th, 2016 | 0 Comments


Hedgehog Cake

Hedgehog expert Barry Chapman told us loads of facts about hedgehogs and how we can help them to survive. There are some on Wanstead Flats and if we ever see any we should let Barry know. They are hibernating now in little burrows and nests in secret places like piles of leaves because it is winter and it would be hard for them to find any slugs and worms and beetles to eat. They need lots of space to roam around on summer nights and so we have to make sure they can get into and through our gardens. We played a game where we pretended to be hedgehogs smelling out worms under the ground, and then we pretended to be predators, foxes and owls, trying to catch hedgehogs in the dark. Then we made spikey chocolate hedgehog cakes. Yum yum.

Handout - Hedgehogs for children

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Nature Club – January 2016

Posted by:wrengroup | Posted on: February 13th, 2016 | 0 Comments


IMG_4047 DSC00696 IMG_4510 IMG_4508 IMG_4503

Squirrels collect nuts like acorns in the Autumn when there are lots about and they bury them in the ground so that they can find them again when it is cold and miserable in the winter and they are hungry. They can smell them out as they have such good noses! We pretended to be squirrels and we hid some chocolate gold coins in the wood in secret places. Then we went back later to find them. This was very hard as we do not have such a good sense of smell! We also spotted a squirrel drey high up in the trees where they go to keep warm and have their babies.It looked like a large football made of twigs and grass.

Then we went on a treasure hunt .We had three different teams and we got points for finding things although it is hard to find flowers and insects in winter.We had to find five different coloured flowers, some seeds, a live insect and a feather around Jubilee Pond. Then we had to identify the flowers and we were very good at naming the flowers. The yellow ones were dandelions, sowthistle, mustard, ragwort and gorse. We found a millipede, a spider, a hoverfly, a snail, a beetle and a woodlouse. The Nutty Team won but we were all brilliant!

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Nature Club – December 2015

Posted by:wrengroup | Posted on: February 13th, 2016 | 0 Comments



Seven children today for our seasonal celebration. First we visited the birds on Jubilee Pond and took them some presents in the shape of peanuts, fresh grapes and fatballs. This was all gratefully hoovered up by the swans, tufted ducks, pochard, mallard and lots of Canada geese. There was also a cormorant there diving to catch fish. Some of these birds are migrant birds which come from far up north where the water is now frozen so they can't find food in winter.

Then we dressed a tree! We chose a little apple tree and draped its branches with the bunting we had made by tying things like feathers, bunches of dried yellow grasses , and branches with red and white berries on to pieces of coloured wool. All these things will rot in time as they are all natural so we can leave them on the tree.

The last thing we did was make some robins with pine cone bodies and plane tree seed heads and we stuck on wings and a red breasts. The robin is a popular bird because it is so friendly to humans but not to other robins which might try to invade their territory to steal their worms!

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Wanstead 1000: Off and running

Posted by:wrengroup | Posted on: January 14th, 2016 | 0 Comments

Quince Turkey Tail
Members of the Wren Wildlife Group are hoping to find 1000 different kinds of plants and animals in the Wanstead area during 2016. Chair Tim Harris reports on progress so far. Before dawn on New Year's Day, while many were sleeping off the excesses of a few hours earlier, Wanstead's birdwatchers (well, some of them) were on a quest to see how many species they could find during the day. And what a start to the day they had! Intrepidly working through the mud and puddles of Bush Wood, Bob Vaughan had inadvertently flushed a woodcock and seen a firecrest before it was properly light. Not far away, on Wanstead Flats, Josh Selfe tweeted that he’s seen an owl fly up from a patch of broom. Sure enough, it soon reappeared, being mobbed by several crows: a short-eared owl, a local rarity. With a start like that, it was unlikely that things could get any better, and much of the day was spent finding those birds that are either resident on our manor, or which just drop in for the winter. However, just when the light was beginning to go, and people were thinking of resting aching limbs after a day in the field, Jono Lethbridge and Nick Croft found a lesser spotted woodpecker by the Basin on Overton Drive. This diminutive woodpecker hadn’t been seen in our area at all in 2015! The day’s total of 69 bird species was the best ever achieved on New Year’s Day. Two days later, Nick had a tantalisingly brief view of what is likely to have been a great snipe – an incredibly rare bird in this country – close to Alexandra Lake. Unfortunately, it didn’t give him time to photograph it as it flew off east so we will probably never know for sure. Three days later it was the turn of the botanical team to see what they could find. The Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland runs a survey at the start of each year to see how many plants are in flower. With incredibly mild weather through December continuing into January, this was likely to mean a few flowers, but nothing could have prepared us for what we discovered on the bright and sunny morning of 4th January. Yarrow was flowering in many places, yellow splashes illuminated some of the clumps of gorse and the pale blue flowers of green alkanet were appearing here and there. With some careful searching, scarcer blooms were found, including both Guernsey and Canadian fleabane near Jubilee Pond, where some flowering alexanders were attracting a number of very unseasonal hoverflies. Wood avens was in flower by the garages behind Belgrave Road and two different types of crane’s-bill were seen under the Green Man roundabout, where there was also some flowering musk-mallow. A hornbeam tree in Bush Wood was carrying a fine display of catkins. All eight members of the botany crew were amazed at the variety of flowering plants on show: no less than 37 species in total. One can expect to find fungi throughout the year, but in early January they are usually pretty thin on the ground. Not this year, though. If plants and birds were leading the way in terms of diversity, the fungi representation was not too shabby, with a nice array of colours, including the spectacular yellow brain fungus. So, scores on the doors as of 12 Jan: 220, made up of 103 plants, 76 birds, 24 fungi and miscellaneous others. Expect the miscellaneous ‘others’ to start making up ground in the spring. Please post any sightings on the Wren Wildlife Group’s Facebook page, or tweet to @wrenwildlife. Pics: Flowering Quince on Wanstead Flats; Turkey Tail fungus in Bush Wood. Tim Harris

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Wallasea RSPB Reserve Awayday

Posted by:wrengroup | Posted on: December 3rd, 2015 | 0 Comments


Visit to Wallasea RSPB Reserve Awayday on 29 November 2015

Mute Swan Brent Goose Shelduck Eurasian Wigeon Eurasian Teal Mallard Shoveler Pheasant Cormorant Little Egret Tufted Duck Grey Heron Kestrel Moorhen (Canewdon) Coot (Canewdon) Ringed Plover Golden Plover (heard only, Nick) Grey Plover Lapwing Dunlin Common Snipe Black-tailed Godwit Curlew Greenshank (Nick) Redshank Black-headed Gull Lesser Black-backed Gull Herring Gull Woodpigeon Skylark Meadow Pipit Robin (Canewdon) Jackdaw Carrion Crow Magpie Starling Linnet Reed Bunting

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