'Beautiful' meadow blossoms at Wanstead Flats a year after Covid-19 mortuary removed
- Credit: Yvette Woodhouse
A "beautiful" meadow of wildflowers has blossomed on the site of a temporary Covid-19 mortuary removed a year ago today.
Erected at Wanstead Flats at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the temporary mortuary was removed on August 5, 2020, to make way for the wildflower habitat.
Graeme Doshi-Smith, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Epping Forest and commons committee, said: "It’s beautiful and moving to see what has blossomed in this space one year on.
"It has been transformed from a mortuary and returned to [Epping] Forest as a grassland in even better condition with more wildflowers than before.
"The grassland is a rich habitat for visitors and wildlife to enjoy."
You may also want to watch:
A fence, which was put up to allow the flowers to get established, has been removed with this stretch of Epping Forest open again.
Sown last summer, the wildflower meadow helps return the grassland to its natural state and provides extra wildflowers for pollinators, including bees and moths.
- 1 Steven Fry stabbing: Man charged with murder to appear at Old Bailey
- 2 3D street art illusion brings Boleyn Ground to life
- 3 Fire damages house in East Ham
- 4 East London's 10 prettiest streets to visit
- 5 Steven Fry: Canning Town man to face court charged with murder
- 6 Police name Newham man fatally shot in Haringey
- 7 Canning Town charity marks fifth year with tributes to founder
- 8 Man killed and two injured in triple shooting
- 9 Haircuts, flu jabs and health care: Event to link up homeless and vulnerable people with free support services
- 10 Police appeal to bystanders in alleged rape case
The grass is due to be cut for hay in late summer and in future years it is believed the hay-cuts will help maintain species variety.
Flowers planted include cornflowers, yellow goat’s beard, German chamomile, cow vetch, meadow pea, corn marigold, common selfheal and oxeye daisies.
The mortuary opened last April and was one of six temporary facilities in London.
It held the bodies of people who died from the virus before their burial and was removed as the UK moved out of the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The four-acre site, which forms the southernmost boundary of Epping Forest, was reseeded with native species and temporarily fenced off to protect the young plants.
Wanstead Flats is recognised as one of the capital's most important dry grasslands on gravel soils.
It is hailed as a rare, wildlife habitat supporting special flowers, butterflies, moths and bees.
The City Corporation protects 11,000 acres of green space in the capital, including West Ham Park, Hampstead Heath and Burnham Beeches.