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