Category

Nature-walks

Fungi Walk – 29 October 2017



45 people attended a Fungi walk on 29th October 2017 in Bushwood led by Tricia Moxly. Despite the dry weather enough fungi were found to make for a very interesting walk.

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November 3rd, 2017

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Nature Club – October 2017


35 children turned up on Sunday 29th October for our Autumn Nature Club.
The weather was perfect for our nature trail through the Chestnut trees and into Chalet Wood. Children enjoyed squirrelling away nuts and finding them again, as well as doing bark rubbings, making stick skeletons and playing with their friends in the woods. They collected autumn leaves, twigs and nuts.

After the nature trail we hosted a crafts session in the Temple where the children turned their collections into a collage and made autumnal cards and leaf rubbings. And finally, we settled down to stories and children helped our story teller act out some of the scenes. A great time was had by all, new friendships made, and we came away with lots of great new ideas for helping our children explore and enjoy their natural environment.

These sessions are run by a group of local parents who wanted to see more activities for children in the park. We’re so pleased at how popular they are and can’t wait until our Christmas event on 18 December and Winter Nature Club on Sunday 28th January. We hope to see you there!

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wrengroup

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November 2nd, 2017

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Fungi Walk in CofL Cemetary


Purple Brittlegill fungus

Apricot Club

Black Earth-tongue

On Sunday 25th Tricia Moxey led about 15 Wren members and supporters around the City of London Cemetery in search of fungi. Tricia had been a bit worried that the variety there might not be great, but her fears were unfounded and at least 20 different types were found, exhibiting an amazing array of colour: white, beige, yellow, orange, scarlet, purple and black were all represented. Several differnt kinds of bristlegills and waxcaps were found, along with Yellow and Apricot Clubs, Clouded Agarics and others. Kathy Hartnett took some great pics, of Purple Bristlegill, Apricot Club and one of the Black Earth-tongues, which Tricia had not seen before. It was a hairless variety but its exact identity has not yet been agreed.

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October 29th, 2015

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A tutorial in trees


Tree Tutorial

Gill James and Jackie Morrison gave a fascinating tour of some of Wanstead Park’s trees this afternoon, 18 October. 35 Members of the Ferndale Area Residents Association, the Wren Group and Friends of Wanstead Parklands enjoyed hearing about sweet and  horse chestnuts, oaks, hazels, birches, poplars, yews and the Plain’s single, inappropriately placed Wellingtonia. A bonus was provided by groups of Wigeon and Gadwall loafing on the Shoulder of Mutton Pond and the Ornamental Water. Thanks to all who came along and made it a fun afternoon.

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October 19th, 2015

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Wildflower Walk


On a warm Tursday evening on 17th June 2015 the annual WREN Wildflower Walk took place in the Exchange Lands adjacent to Wanstead Park with about 30 walkers. As always when such a walk is led by someone as knowledgable as Tricia Moxley it was both interesting and informative. To a background of birdsong, Chiff Chaffs being particularly vocal, she led us from the Riding Stables on a circular route through the area pointing out and discussing the common (e.g. Bramble, Mallow, Dog Rose), the pretty (e.g. Creeping cinqfoil, Everlasting Pea) and the ominous (e.g. Hemlock, Giant Hogweed). Finishing appropriately for an old sewage works with Biting Stonecrop.

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June 20th, 2015

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Fungus Foray in Bush Wood – 25 October 2014


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On a lovely autumn morning, 30 people, a small baby and a dog gathered in Bush Wood for a fungus walk led by Tricia Moxey. Although Tricia warned that there was a possibility that there would be few fungi, she need not have worried. In fact, there was a group of Grey Fairy Bonnets right by where we had gathered! After that the group threw itself into fungi-finding with great gusto. With Tricia’s advice and identification tips we were treated to a wide range of species – more than 20 in all. These included Red-cracking Boletus, more Grey and White Fairy Bonnets growing on the ground, and Turkey Tail brackets and clusters of orange Hairy Curtain Crust on rotting wood. Delicate Fan fungi were found on smaller twigs. We also saw such beauties as Amethyst Deceiver, Verdigris Agaric and Stalked Puffball. The walk ended at the northern end of Wanstead Flats with the magical sight of a group of Fly Agarics. Thanks to Tricia’s informative talk, I think we all came away with a much better understanding of the importance of fungi for the natural environment. This value to the whole ecosystem highlights the dangers of the industrial-scale harvesting of wild fungi that is now taking place in parts of Epping Forest – and which must be stopped.

Sharon Payne, 25/10/2014

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October 25th, 2014

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A Walk in the Cemetery


Last Sunday saw a very well-attended walk in the City of London Cemetery in Aldersbrook Road. Run by Wren committee member Gill James the walk looked at some of the more unusual trees in the area with a little bit of history thrown in.

The cemetery was designed to be the ‘Cemetery in a Garden’ with a pleasant open aspect a world away from the doom and gloom of other conifer-ridden cemeteries. It was planted up with a majority of deciduous trees in order to give it a tranquil park-like aspect. Many people do not realise what a pleasant and expansive place this Cemetery is, with a wide variety of unusual and beautiful trees mainly planted in the nineteenth century, a large memorial garden full of roses, and some very fine Victorian buildings, all beautifully maintained and financed by the City of London.

The original design for the cemetery was the brainchild of William Haywood, who was active in the redevelopment of modern London. He was also the architect of the Holborn Viaduct scheme. There was a great need for more cemeteries to serve London at this time as the population had expanded rapidly since the beginning of the nineteenth century and the churchyards of the City were literally overflowing. It was not uncommon to find human remains scattered and bones gnawed by dogs. So Haywood was given the job of finding a suitable site for a new cemetery and he chose and purchased 200 acres of what was at that time Aldersbrook Farm. The purchase of this land, with its attendant grazing rights had an important knock-on effect for us, for it enabled the City of London at a later date to acquire Forest land, including Wanstead Park & Wanstead Flats, which would otherwise have been developed for housing.

A walk in the Cemetery is interesting in many different ways, not least to observe the variety and change of fashion in funeral monuments. Many people come to search out the graves of notable persons, such as Bobby Moore, Robert Hooke, and more recently Bob Crowe. But this really is a People’s Cemetery, meant to accommodate everyone including paupers and murderers. Some of the most impressive graves are the Churchyard Removal monuments, necessitated by the clearance of some of the ancient churchyards in the City and the reinterment of the remains of thousands of our forebears.

Many trees which were once rare and special and were collected from far-off spots such as India, China and America, are now familiar to us because they are commonly planted in our streets, parks and gardens. An example is the Purple-Leafed Plum, well-known to us for its pink blossom cheering our streets in spring, but which originated apparently by accident in the garden of the Shah of Persia before 1880. How are the mighty fallen!

The Cemetery is a good place to look for wildlife: the mature trees attract a variety of birds and many urban foxes find a home here. Some areas are left unmown to encourage wildflowers, and we saw many harebells, but there is always pressure to find more space for burials.

Why don’t you take a look ?

Gill James

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August 18th, 2014

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