200ac/81ha SSSI (part), SMI
Grid ref: TQ 415 875 (click for o/s map)
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Once the renowned 18th-century gardens of Wanstead House, Wanstead Park is managed now by the City of London as part of Epping Forest. It has several large lakes, with secluded inlets, islands and marshy areas. These are surrounded by a mixture of mature woodland, parkland and open acid grassland where harebells grow. The River Roding runs along its eastern boundary.
This combination makes for rich wildlife, despite the constant visitor pressure. Birdlife is particularly good, with kingfishers seen regularly throughout the year. Wildfowl visit the lakes in winter, including gadwall, pochard and shoveler. Great crested grebes and little grebes breed on the lakes in summer, and migrant warblers also visit to breed, especially blackcap and chiffchaff
South of the A12 (Eastern Avenue)/M11 interchange. Can be reached from Wanstead Park Road to the east via an overbridge, from Woodlands Avenue/Northumberland Avenue to the south and from Warren Road to the north-west. No parking on the site.
Central line tube to Wanstead. Several bus services run to this station also.
Accessible at all times.
Autumn/winter for visiting wildfowl; April/May for woodland flowers and birdsong.
A good network of surfaced paths.