Events Walthamstow

How we can make Walthamstow a little bit wilder

New exhibition in Lloyd Park displays local rewilding ideas gathered with help from diverse community groups, writes Gemma Harvey

A ladybird in Lloyd Park
Lloyd Park

How can nature and biodiversity thrive in urban environments such as Walthamstow? What could a wilder Walthamstow look like, and what benefits would it bring to people and the environment?

Wild(er) Walthamstow is a free public exhibition at Winns Gallery in Lloyd Park that will explore these questions and more, inviting residents to contribute their own reflections and ideas. The exhibition has been developed as part of ongoing research by our team of environmental scientists and urban geographers at Queen Mary University of London. We are all residents of East London and most of us live in Walthamstow.

Landscape rewilding is gaining popularity, aiming to enable and support nature-driven processes and promote wilder nature, but so far it has mostly focused on rural environments. We are interested in translating and adapting the ideas, principles and approaches associated with rewilding to complex urban environments – for the benefit of people and wildlife. The exhibition draws on our research with local communities and organisations in the summer of 2022 for our ‘Blue Green E17’ project.

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We invited Walthamstow residents to take part in a photo-mapping survey by sharing geolocated photographs of places and things that connect them with nature locally. These photographs will feature in our exhibition, exploring the diversity of ways in which people connect with green spaces (parks, gardens, forest), blue spaces (ponds, lakes, rivers and wetlands) and urban wildlife in E17.

We interviewed 25 people from diverse groups including community gardens, park groups and residents’ associations, action groups, local artists, charities, Waltham Forest Council, utilities and transport representatives, to understand the range of possibilities and challenges associated with improving the local environment in cities.

We also mapped current and historical green and blue spaces, and used this predict how easy or difficult it is for different wildlife species to move around our neighbourhoods, and how this could change with simple community-led interventions.

The Wild(er) Walthamstow exhibition draws together these different perspectives on nature in E17 to encourage reflection on the present and consider visions for a future wild(er) Walthamstow.

Wild(er) Walthamstow is running from Friday, 30th June until Sunday, 2nd July at Winns Gallery in Lloyd Park, Walthamstow. The exhibition is open 10am–5pm each day and entry is free. It will take place in Winns Gallery, Lloyd Park, E17 5JW. Find out more:

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