There has been much happening in Wanstead Park recently, with the successful introduction of the long horn cows, the area opened up to cycling, new sign posts and the exciting Thames 21 developments along the Roding.

More is on the way with proposals for the park to get some Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space (SANGS) funding via Redbridge Council that will enable more work to be done.

It seems things have come a long way over the past 20 years.

At the turn of the century, the custodians of the park, the City of London Corporation (CLC), seemed less willing to engage with the local population.

I was part of a group called the Wanstead Park Community Project (WPCP), the forerunner to the Friends of Wanstead Park (FWP). The group was made up of historians, archaeologists, environmentalists, journalists and film makers.

Much of the work was about bringing the past and present life of the park to public notice. Film maker Stuart Monro was a driving force in setting up WPCP. Stuart also made a number of DVDs about different aspects of the park. Some of these are still on sale at various places around Wanstead.

There was also a booklet about the park. Sadly, Stuart died in 2017 but his work has been taken forward.

There is a growing concern that although a whole number of stakeholders seem to be contributing in different ways, what about the Corporation of London itself?

Recently, the Environment Agency were insisting that statutory works needed doing in the form of a flood prevention plan for the park. Some £10 million was committed for the work before that need was reduced down to nearer the thousands so what happened to the rest of it?

Neither it would seem are the funding shortages limited to Wanstead Park. The Epping Forest Heritage Trust (EPHT) has called on the City of London Corporation to “invest more in protecting and conserving the forest for people to enjoy now and for generations to come.”

The City of London Corporation is a very rich organisation, which surely could afford to put a bit more into this vital ecological infrastructure stretching from East London out into Essex. It is a much-loved space, which just needs a bit more cash put in to help further develop its fantastic potential.

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