Friday, 7 April 2017

Otters and kingfishers in the Wanstead Park but also a time when action needs to be taken to protect and nurture for the future

Great news to see that efforts are being made to bring otters back to Wanstead.  (

The work on the River Roding by volunteers to create a habitat conducive to the return of otters is most encouraging.

The river and lake alongside are always fantastic places for wildlife, with the kingfishers now resident zipping along, stopping sometimes to perch on an overhanging branch.

One concern though for the return of otters must be the mink in Wanstead Park.

It is surprising the number of species of creature foreign to the area that have cropped up over recent years. There are the turtles regularly seen on the logs in the Ornamental lake and ofcourse the parakeets.

It is certainly a great time to be in the park, with the bluebells beginning to come through in areas like Chalet Wood,  providing a magnificent display.

On a less optimistic note, the lakes continue to drain of water at an alarming rate. The pump at the Heronery is due to be replaced in the next month, which should see water levels rise in that lake and the adjacent Perch pond. However, the Ornamental continues to lose water at an alarming rate. It seems that options are being examined by the City of London Corporation. However, this work - and other urgent projects that have been in the pipeline - for some time have now been further delayed by the decision to not put in for the next round of Heritage Lottery Funding. (

The problems are growing in the park and need resolution – kicking the problem up the road simply will not do.

At the recent AGM of the Friends of Wanstead Park the idea of a Save Wanstead Park summit was voiced bringing together the various stakeholders with local MP John Cryer playing a central role. (John helped form the Parliamentary group Friends of Wanstead Park that includes many local MPs.) This is a welcome idea that should be enacted. The time now has come to grasp the nettle of dealing with the major issues threatening the future of the park. All of that said, it is still a time to celebrate the magnificence that is Wanstead Park.

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