Wild St Mary's

The ancient graveyard of Wanstead's Grade 1 listed church is a haven for wildlife. Recent work has focused on cutting back some of the undergrowth and opening up the vistas, which will improve light levels and encourage even more wildflower species to flourish. Other insect-friendly native plants that used to be found in the churchyard have been re-introduced, such as honeysuckle planted along two of the boundaries.

​Cleared wood has been used to make log piles, with branches half buried in shady spots. Four nest boxes designed for different birds, including nuthatches, have been put up. According to the Wren Wildlife and Conservation Group, nuthatches appear to be making a bit of a comeback locally – several have been spotted in Wanstead Park – but they'll need a helping hand if their population is to get established. Three of the boxes have already been used, although so far only by blue tits.