The bluebells coming out in Wanstead Park are a sight to lift the spirits of all who come to enjoy this fantastic space.

The blooming flowers are a real sign that spring has sprung, with the cold, dark days of winter truly behind us.

The splendour of the bluebells should this year be extended throughout Wanstead by the work of the community gardeners and Wild Wanstead. The community gardeners keep the beds in the high street around the station looking resplendent throughout the year, but particularly stunning in spring. It is quite some challenge to turn some of these settings into oasis of colour in the way that the gardeners do.

Wild Wanstead has been the driving force behind the planting of the tree pits and bringing some areas back to a more wild state to encourage wildlife. The last time some tree pits were planted it provided a magnificent sea of colour on the roads concerned. This time there are more roads planted so the town should really come alive.

There are areas being allowed to grow, rather than being cut on George Green, Christchurch Green and Nutter Lane, so please enjoy these spaces. Also, remember this is a deliberate policy, it is not a case of the council failing to cut the grass. It will be great to see all these initiatives extended over the coming months.

There are though other challenges on the biodiversity front. We do seem to be getting an increasing occurrence of people concreting over their gardens. This practice is the exact opposite of promoting biodiversity. It is also counter productive, with efforts to make the community spaces in the area more biodiverse, while parts of the privately owned land are doing the opposite.

Concreting over gardens is destructive to the environment, it also increases the overall flood threat. As a recent Environment Agency presentation on the river Roding illustrated, the less land space there is for water to flow away the more it will put pressure on existing drainage systems and rivers - increasing flood risk.

It would be great not only to see a halt to concreting over front and back gardens but also see some being taken back to green space.

We also need to do more in this area to promote trees. A number of residents have noted trees being cut off. The council will only be taking such action if trees are diseased or there is another good reason. Vandalism could be another cause. If you suspect foul play, report it to the council.

The council have undertaken that felled trees will be replaced in the next financial year. This is likely to see replanting at the end of this year stretching into next year.

However, we do need to do more to increase the number of trees in the area, as well as other climate positive moves like bringing in green walls and hedgerows. Please come forward with ideas as to how to further green our area. There is much that needs to be done but as the initial positive response to the idea of an environmental charter for Wanstead has shown the will is definitely there to go further.

  • Paul Donovan is a Redbridge councillor for Wanstead village and blogger. See