Visitors enjoy Easter sunshine and bluebells in Wanstead Park

Standing room only around Wanstead Park’s much-loved tea hut!

Last weekend (20-22 April 2019) saw a bumper number of visitors to Wanstead Park. By happy coincidence three things came together: the late Easter holiday, the best weather of the year so far – and the peak of the park’s greatest annual spectacle, the bluebell season.

Bluebells in Chalet Wood.

Every April masses of bluebells create a sea of blue in areas of local woodland. The best place to see them is in Chalet Wood, opposite The Temple, where brambles have been kept under control by members of the Wren Conservation Group so the flowers can be seen at their best. However, bluebells grow in great numbers throughout the wooded areas of the Park and Bush Wood, even though they may be less clearly visible.

The Temple, a former menagerie building of c.1760.

The South Mount, one of Wanstead Park’s surviving eighteenth century earthworks.

It is common for artists to use Wanstead Park’s annual display of bluebells as a subject.

On Easter Sunday the Friends of Wanstead Parklands organised a well-attended “Bluebell Day” of Spring activities for children aged 3-8 at Park’s historic Temple. They made Easter cards and crowns and were taken for a walk with stories in the bluebell wood.

The bluebells will be around in large numbers for another couple of weeks. They are best viewed from a path, as their leaves are easily damaged by trampling. Also, don’t pick them! Not only will it prevent the plant setting seed, but the flower spike will not last – it starts to droop almost instantly. Most of our local open spaces are part of Epping Forest, so damaging or removing plants is against the bylaws.

Wanstead Park is perhaps seen at its best in the Spring, with trees adorned by their fresh new leaves, many plants in flower, and much activity by birds, insects and other wildlife.

Swan, Shoulder of Mutton Pond.
Pair of Egyptian geese. A native of sub-tropical Africa the Egyptian goose was brought to Britain in the late 17th century as an ornamental bird for the lakes of country gentlemen. It slowly became acclimatised, and is now increasing in numbers.
Female orange tip butterfly.
A pair of mallard ducks, a common native species.
The islands in the Perch Pond showing recent clearance work.
The Heronry Pond looking west.
Family fun in the Long Walk.