Artist Rosemary Stephens often walks on Wanstead Flats twice a day, is a volunteer litter picker, wildlife protector, general nature lover and wonderful image maker; capturing the magic of early mornings in the area before posting them, for anyone to enjoy, to her Twitter stream, The Nature Of The Flats. What is clear from her offerings is just how much she values this important and species diverse habitat.
Wanstead Flats is the southernmost portion of Epping Forest in eastern Greater London and is surrounded by roads and built up residential areas. Mainly grassland, it has patches of gorse and broom, pockets of woodland and old tree-lined avenues. In the UK we have a number of different types of grassland, each with different characteristic species of grasses, other flowering plants and wildlife. Wanstead Flats is categorised as acid grassland, a habitat in increasingly short supply in London, and as such a designated priority area for nature conservation.
A full plant species list, including a history of the land use and care of Wanstead Flats can be found on the interesting Wanstead Wildlife website.
All photographs by Rosemary Stephens.