News archive

March 2020

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

RSPB Coombes Valley reserve, path through bluebell wood

Cancellation of ALL Group Events until September

The RSPB have been closely monitoring the coronavirus situation and sadly have had to advise Local Groups to cancel ALL Group Events until September.

I'm sure we will all miss our indoor meetings with the chance to socialise and be entertained and educated by our speakers but the prime consideration has to be the welfare of our members and volunteers plus our local communities.
We must not encourage anyone to gather together so our outdoor walks could also have put people at risk.

The RSPB have closed all face-to-face elements of their reserves but acknowledging the joy and health benefits of providing access to nature, they are keeping their reserves open for visitors on a self-guided basis where safe and practical to do so. However, this must be in line with current advice especially with regard to 'social distancing' (keep 2 metres apart) and, of course, self-isolation for the vulnerable.

On a cheerier note, our summer migrants have started arriving, blossom and spring flowers are blooming and birdsong is in the air. Perhaps time to get out into our gardens where possible, and make them as wildlife friendly as we can!

For more information, click on link or go to

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Proposed dance music festival at the Waterworks: UPDATE -Rejected!

Proposed dance music festival at the Waterworks: UPDATE -Rejected!

If you feel that a festival that aims to 'deliver the volume and sound pressure proper dance music deserves' is inappropriate next door to a nature reserve then it is possible to object to the licence application made by Waterworks Events Ltd by 10th March.

The council do accept objections from people who live outside of Waltham Forest borough.
Licensing criteria means that objections must be regarding the prevention of crime, disorder and public nuisance only.

The 'Save Lea Marshes' group have published a sample objection which you may find useful (or can copy).
Go to

or click on link below.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Birds of Southern Sri Lanka

Birds of Southern Sri Lanka

Jonathan Forgham persuaded his wife to go on holiday to Southern Sri Lanka and now returns on a regular basis. There are some spectacular birds (with many endemics) and Jono claimed it was not difficult to get some wonderful photos as the light was so good!
One such was the Changeable Hawk-Eagle named thus as it has such a variety of plumages - needless to say, with all the bird name changes that keep happening, it is now called the Crested Hawk-Eagle which is more descriptive (see photo/poster). In fact, in many cases, the English names of the birds could be guessed as they often described the most prominent physical feature.

He entertained with his usual light-hearted approach (including the results of forgetting his leech socks!) but also gave us a feel of the life of the people there and the destruction that the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami caused to buildings and ways of life. He was inspired to help people he met by starting and fund-raising for a number of projects - the fees he gets from his Sri Lankan talks all go towards these projects.

His talk was much enjoyed by his audience, as evidenced by the frequent laughter of the thirty people present

We realised that our numbers would be lower than usual due to the concerns about the coronavirus and appreciate that everyone needs to take precautions and decide what is appropriate for them and the community.

Please go to the Events page where this item has a Google Map link to our location at

St Mary's Church (Gwinnell Room)
207 High Road
South Woodford
E18 2PA

We meet on the second Tuesday of most months at 8pm
Our nature talks cost: £4.00 for RSPB & Wren members, £4.50 for non-members, Free to schoolchildren

St Mary's Church is a short distance from the junction with Chelmsford Road. After 6.30 pm, parking is free and legal in the car park beside the Library opposite the church and also on bits of the High Road outside.
Derby Road car park, a few minutes walk to the north, is free from 5.30 pm onwards.

It is about a 15 minute walk from South Woodford tube station (on Central line).
Buses 179 and W13 stop nearby.

If you click on the 'Download file' link, then you will see the striking poster that Ray (our Publicity officer) produced to advertise this talk (featuring the Crested Hawk-Eagle).

Download file