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    The Grotto in Wanstead Park

    ​The newly cleared grotto in Wanstead Park

Following a decision in 2009 by English Heritage to place Wanstead Park on its 'at risk' register, we have been liaising with stakeholders and the local community to develop a management plan for the park.

Find out below about the improvements we have made to the park so far and the strategic work going on behind the scenes.

Recently, the City of London and its partners in the project have been working with LDA Design to develop a variety of proposals for the future of the park.

Read more about the history of Wanstead Park on our heritage pages and find things to do in the area on our visitor information pages.

Visit The Temple, our centre in Wanstead Park, to start your exploration of the park.​

What are we doing?

​We are working to improve four strands of the management of Wanstead Park:

  • The landscape
  • Its historic features
  • Visitor facilities
  • Community and educational programmes

These aims are summarised in a document called a ‘Conservation Statement’, which has been used to inform the plans for the future of the park currently under development.

Find out more about this process and the practical steps we have already taken towards this goal below.

Why are we doing it?

​English Heritage believed that the landscape was declining and in urgent need of new investment, so placed it on their ‘at risk’ register. This has presented us with the ideal opportunity to focus our attentions on the park and to seek funding.

We have identified the following five challenges in the management of the parklands:

  • Deterioration of the condition of the historic landscape, including overgrowth, inappropriate species and planting, deterioration of the lake system.
  • Access and recreation, including physical access and anti-social behaviours
  • Awareness and understanding, including limited interpretation
  • Condition of the ecology, including lack of appropriate grassland management, invasive species and hydrological issues
  • Management and protection, including fragmented ownership and limited maintenance

Get involved and have your say

Throughout the planning process, your views and those of stakeholder groups will be sought. To register an interest, please email or sign up to our online consultation platform.

You can also contact the following organisations:

If you want to get stuck in and help with improvements to the parklands, check out our volunteering pages.

What are the aims of the project?

​Following the consultation in 2011, we identified five key aims for the regeneration of Wanstead Park:

  • Conservation and enhancement of site's historic values
  • Conservation and enhancement of site's biodiversity
  • Conservation and enhancement of site's community and recreational value
  • Increase in understanding and awareness of the site's significance
  • Sustainable management and protection of the site's values

What have we done so far?

Alongside developing a longer term strategy for the parklands, a liaison group has been formed to bring together City of London staff, community representatives and the London Borough of Redbridge.

This group meets at least four times per year with a remit to improve communications and co-ordinate smaller-scale improvements, volunteering and community events.

So far, the work of the liaison group has resulted in the following practical steps to improve the parklands:

  • Repairs to The Temple, including lime mortar pointing repairs, the redecoration of the portico and repairs to the chimneys.
  • Opening up views to The Grotto, including clearance of vegetation and a landscape assessment of remaining mature trees.
  • Works in Chalet Wood, including log laying to define paths and clearance of brambles to provide more space for bluebells to grow.
  • Removal of floating Pennywort in Perch Pond, a non-native aquatic plant which can affect oxygen levels.
  • View between The Temple and Shoulder of Mutton Pond opened up along the avenue of chestnuts.
  • Works started to improve the Northumberland Road entrance. Vegetation removed to open views to the both the Heronry and Perch Pond from the entrance.
  • Works to realign the signage and remove derelict fencing.

Details of current works can be found on our News page.​

Wanstead Park Lakes Hydrological Study October 2013

​The City of London Corporation, acting as the Conservators of Epping Forest and working in partnership with the Friends of Wanstead Parklands appointed JBA Consulting in October 2013. JBA are an expert hydrological consultancy which will advise on the sustainability of the Wanstead Park lake ‘cascade’ of five water bodies.

Regular visitors will know that the lakes have experienced prolonged periods of low water levels, which have had a negative impact on the historic landscape and also threatened the nationally important heritage status of the park.

The aim of the study was to review and try to accurately measure how water enters the lakes system through rainfall and groundwater, and then leaves through evaporation and leakages. By creating a ‘water budget’ for the park lakes, JBA will then help us to review the feasibility of restoring the water bodies as part of a wider consideration of funding bids to restore and regenerate the whole park.

If you would like further information please contact Epping Forest by looking out for one of the Forest Keepers, calling the office on 020 8532 1010 or emailing us at

What does the future hold?

​A steering group has been formed from representatives of all of the landowners and stakeholders, including the City of London Corporation as The Conservators of Epping Forest.

In 2010-11, this group embarked upon planning a long term regeneration project for Wanstead Park. A draft Conservation Statement was developed and then subjected to a public consultation process. Feedback from this consultation was incorporated into the final document. Copies of this statement can be requested from Epping Forest by email on 

For more information, consultation reports, or minutes from previous steering group meetings, please contact 

This Conservation Statement was used to inform current proposals for the parklands during our Feedback Fortnight in 2015.

After feedback has been received, the City of London and its partners will consider taking forward the proposals in the form of funding bids, for example to the Heritage Lottery Fund, to secure the future of this important landscape.