John has lived in Aldersbrook for 20 years and walks his 2 dogs in the park every day. He is also uses the park regularly for running, bird watching and cycling. John has a professional background in landscape. He has worked on the restoration of nationally important parks such as Painshill Park in Surrey and Queen Victoria’s park and garden at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. He was Director of Thames Chase Community Forest based in Upminster where the team planted 1 million trees during his tenure and he oversaw the building of the new visitor centre. He also managed the Parklands programme in Essex, spending £9.8 million with partners such as the RSPB, the Essex Wildlife Trust and the Land Trust. Currently he is the Head of Environment and Flood Management at Essex County Council. John is Chair of the Friends of Wanstead Parklands.
Jo has visited Wanstead Park regularly since she moved to the area in 2005. She enjoys running, cycling and walking in the park. She also enjoys exploring the park and nature with her 2 young children and husband. Jo currently works at the NGO Global Witness, where she campaigns at EU and international level on deforestation and the global timber trade. She is also chair and founder of the Aldersbrook Playground Campaign which is campaigning for natural play equipment and better facilities for families and children in Wanstead Park. Jo is Vice Chair of the Friends of Wanstead Parklands.
Gill has lived near Wanstead Park with her family for nearly forty years and worked at nearby Aldersbrook Library for almost as long. She enjoys organising events such as Music in Wanstead Park. She is an active member of the Wren Conservation and Wildlife Group, runs their Nature Club for children, and helps with practical work such as maintaining the Bluebell Wood and doing surveys such as reptile counts. She is keen to ensure that the lakes in the Park, with their unique landscape and wonderful bird population, are preserved for future generations.
Tricia retired in March 2005 from the Epping Forest Department of the City of London, where she had held the post of Information Services Manager. She produced exhibitions, interpretative material about the Forest and planned and organised the annual Forest Festival. Tricia has a considerable knowledge and understanding of the landscape history and wildlife of Wanstead Park as well as the many challenges in planning its future management. Currently, Tricia is a part-time Tutor in ecology with the WEA and is involved with a number of other local organisations including the Essex Wildlife Trust and the Friends of Epping Forest and regularly gives talks about Wanstead Park.
Ralph has been a lifelong visitor to Wanstead Park and has made it a personal mission to see that this unique Park receives the recognition it deserves. He has researched the documented history of the Park and is particularly passionate about the “Lost Roman Villa” and the lake system. He was instrumental in the production of an extensive geophysical survey over a large area of the Park which has revealed evidence of pre Roman occupation. A member of the Wanstead Historical Society and the West Essex Archaeological Group, previously employed as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of East London but now retired. Ralph now enjoys archaeological research and exploration and is looking forward to participating in the restoration of Wanstead Park.
My family has lived next door to Wanstead Park since 1950 so I have lots of happy memories of using the park when growing up. Being somewhat of a tomboy this included rolling down the slopes of the river banks, tree climbing, den building and paddling in the shallows of the river and emerging to find leeches attached to our feet and for some extraordinary reason crawling along the outlet pipes! Then there was foraging for blackberries, conkers, sweet chestnuts and diving off of the jetty and swimming in the cool water of the Shoulder of Mutton pond on a hot summer’s day. My own children have enjoyed visiting the park and now it is my grandchildren who are taken for walks around the lakes and to sample the park’s delights. The way we use these lovely open spaces might change through the years but we still need them and they need to be cared for and treasured.
John has lived in Wanstead for the last twenty odd years and has been a regular runner (no longer!), walker and cyclist in the park.
The ability to so easily access such a natural green space was the perfect antidote to busy working days as a Corporate Contracts manager. A lifesaver!
Recently retired and a new member of the Committee, John aims to use his new found freedom to make a meaningful contribution to the preservation of the park environment we are so fortunate to have.
I am a retired teacher who moved to Wanstead from Leeds in 2009. My daughter and grandchildren live in Forest Gate. I was so pleased to find that I lived between Wanstead Flats and Wanstead Park that I joined the Friends of Wanstead Parklands and found myself on the committee. To raise funds for the Friends I knit toys that are sold on the stalls we run during the year.