Did you know... Herbarium collections were kept by many noted artists and writers, as well as botanical collectors and archivists. These include the poet Emily Dickinson, artist Paul Klee and philosopher Jean Jaques Rousseau... Emily Dickinson's Herbarium consisted of over 400 carefully preserved plants and flowers and is now a treasure of Harvard's Houghton Library. In a letter to her friend Abiah Root in 1845, the 14-year old Dickinson urged her to create her own herbarium, stating that 'it would be such a treasure to you' and 'most of the girls are making one'. Dickinson used her garden flowers as emblems in her poetry and correspondence... Paul Klee's herbarium inspired a recent exhibition at the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Switzerland, centering on the artist's fascination with botanical representation and nature. He made a miniature herbarium as a child - as many children do - and began his artistry by drawing botanical specimens. An amateur naturalist, he would often collect flowers and leaves on walks to identify and store in later herbariums and found nature an inexhaustible source of inspiration... The first recorded herbarium was created by Luca Ghini, an Italian physician and botanist. He also created the first botanical garden in Europe, the Orta botanica di Pisa, in 1544... The herbarium of Gherards Cibo, a pupil of Ghini, was begun in 1532 and still exists today... Originally herbarium pages were bound into a book, but Carolus Linnaeus, founder of the modern system of scientific plant names, introduced the idea of mounting specimens on single sheets and storing them flat in cabinets for easy reference and better conservation. This became general practice by the mid-18th Century and continues in this manner today.

16 November 2015

On the move // New website launching this week

We've been working hard on a new website, complete with portfolio and new blog, which we'll be launching this week. The website will still be at www.theherbariumproject.com. Please bear with us during the short period when files are transitioning across. Thanks!

13 November 2015

In Gardens Illustrated // December Issue // Pressed For Time

So excited to be the artist profile in the December 2015 issue of Gardens Illustrated December. The piece – entitled Pressed For Time – features a specially-made botanical Advent Calendar. Gorgeous images by Andrew Montgomery (taken last November) and lovely words by Matthew Biggs. Thanks Gardens Illustrated for featuring us.

7 September 2015

In the Garden Museum // Seeing Floral – The Art of Florilegia

News // 7 September

Had a great day at The Garden Museum today, hosting an event – Seeing Floral: The Art of Florilegia – with head of their plant school, Rosemary Campbell-Preston. The event included an introduction to the history and art of florilegia and herbaria, an overview of our guests' work and the relevance of the event to them, and then some practical guidance on collecting, pressing, labelling and mounting plant and flower specimens. We had also had an amazing lunch with food prepared using ingredients from The Garden Museum's garden, and access to some of the museum florilegia and herbaria exhibits. Thanks to Briar Silich, Benjamin O'Connor and Clemmie Powers for organising.

We prepared three sheets for our workshops:

A short history of herbaria

Preparing and pressing herbarium specimens

Mounting herbarium specimens

Would be great to get feedback from anyone who attended the day, or has any photos. Please email sonyapatelellis@gmail.com.

17 July 2015

In West Ham Park Bandstand // The Story Without // Hortus Uptonensis

Selection of images of our latest exhibition / installation, The Story Without – Hortus Uptonensis in West ham Park Bandstand, a homage to the life and works of former parkland owner, botanist and philanthropist Dr. John Fothergill.

The exhibition is an offshoot of The Story Within, showing Newham libraries until November 2015, and is also part of the inaugural Forest Gate Arts Trail.

Here's the press release:

The Story Without: Hortus Uptonensis

4 June 2015

In the library // The Story Within // Exhibition Texts // Forest Gate Flowers Histories

Looking forward to the official opening of my show The Story Within at The Gate Library, Forest Gate, later this evening (6.30pm-8pm, Thursday 4 June). Hope to see some of you there...

If you'd like to read more about the exhibition please see the text below:

THE STORY WITHIN: Main exhibition text

THE STORY WITHIN: R-Evolution Text

If you'd like to participate in the Forest Gate Flower Histories project, and help produce a new artwork for the Forest Gate Arts Trail 2015 (20 July to 8 August 2015), see the flyer below or download from the link provided.

Forest Gate Flower Histories

For more information and commissions visit www.theherbariumproject.com, connect on Twitter @sonyapatelellis, visit The Herbarium Project Facebook page (www.facebook.com/theherbariumproject) or call Sonya Patel Ellis on 07961 102722.

20 May 2015

On the Chelsea Fringe // The Story Within // The Gate Library // Launch 4 June 2015

Excited to be part of Chelsea Fringe 2015 with my exhibition The Story Within at The Gate Library, Forest Gate. Hope to see some of you at the official launch on 4 June 2015, 6.30pm to 8.30pm, see details below...

Join artist, writer and editor Sonya Patel Ellis on 4 June 2015 (6.30pm to 8.30pm) at The Gate Library (4-20 Woodgrange Road, E7) for the official opening of the Forest Gate leg of her exhibition The Story Within, winner of the Rosetta Art Centre’s RELAY Platform competition 2015.

Artworks, previously exhibited as The Earth Laughs in Flowers in local cafe CoffeE7 April 2014, include a Herbarium Wall of pressed flower specimens grown in Ellis’ garden over the course of a year; a tribute to the Upper Cut Club – a former E7 hub – where Jimi Hendrix penned the lyrics to the legendary song Purple Haze; a musical map based on a field study of Michaelmas daisies in Forest Gate and the E7#9 Purple Haze chord; and a series of pressed flowers juxtaposed with the pages of the art books used to press them.

Each piece of work links with the next, creating a winding narrative that crosses aesthetics, history, myth, geography, music, nature and gardening. By placing these works in the company of books, the sanctuary of the library and the fellowship of the reader, they take on a new meaning – that of art as story maker.

The exhibition runs from 18 May until 7 August 2015 (Monday-Saturday, 9.30pm to 5.30pm; Thursday until 8.30pm) before moving onto its final leg at Stratford Library (17 August to 6 November 2015). There will be a series of free events and workshops associated with this exhibition including the launch on 4 June 2015 and an artist Q&A at The Gate Library on 21 July 2015.

The exhibition is also part of the burgeoning alternative gardening festival, the Chelsea Fringe, an offshoot of the Chelsea Flower Show.

For more details see www.theherbariumproject.com and www.chelseafringe.com/event/sonya-patel-ellis-the-story-within-2/2015-05-20/

12 May 2015

On the move // The Story Within // Heading to Forest Gate Library // Opens 18 May // PV 4 June

My exhibition at Beckton Globe Library is now closed and the artworks will be moving over to Forest Gate Library on Wednesday 13 May, ready for the opening on Monday 18 May. Save the date for a celebratory evening at The Gate library on Thursday 4 June, 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Watch this space for more details...

In the Garden Museum // Seeing Flora, The Art of Florilegia // 7 September 2015

Excited to officially announce an event at The Garden Museum on 7 September 2015, just before the museum closes for refurbishment. The event is entitled Seeing Flora, The Art of Florilegia.

I'll be running a workshop with The Garden Museum's Plant School Founder & Director, Rosemary Campbell-Preston to illustrate how to create a florilegium / herbarium, designed to show guests how to explore nature through understanding the key characteristics of specific plant families, genera and species, and how to be inspired creatively via the techniques of observing, selecting, recording, cutting, pressing and mounting plants and flowers.

Each Guest will depart with a portable flower press (a Garden Museum Notebook) created on the day with two pressed and labelled plants, and two mounted specimens in a wallet. Plus there will be morning tea and coffee, a fine and flavourful two course lunch with a glass of wine, and afternoon tea and cake. Guests will need to bring a small posy of no more than six plants, from a cultivated collection, preferably from their own garden (not from the wild due to protective legislation). All otter materials will be supplied on the day.

There are 28 places available at £85 each (£65 for friends), with the workshop running between 10am to 4pm. The Garden Museum will otherwise be closed on the day.

Find out more and book tickets here >

1 May 2015

Round the Maypole // Wanstead Flats // 1 May 2015

Had great fun on May Day helping to install a May Pole on Wanstead Flats with fellow local artist Nicola Cunningham, choreographer Louise Klarnett and friends. Made some little flower headbands for the kids, which they could decorate with flowers from the garden. Lots of ideas for a big event next year perhaps, in line with our Carnival of Light... such a magical place.

22 April 2015

Back to school // Story Starter workshops // Renaming dandelions // Story worlds

Getting ready for my second round of art workshops with primary pupils from Newham Schools. The workshops tie in with my RELAY solo show, currently at Beckton Globe Library (16 January to 8 May 2015), followed by exhibitions at Forest Gate Library and Stratford Library. Primary school pupils will be making Story Starters, via drawings and the renaming of dandelions and collaged story worlds.

Have also just signed up to do a Musical Map workshop at the National Archives on 15 June 2015 in line with the Magna Carta exhibition currently showing at the British Library. Meetings to take place with other artists in May.

Big thanks to Poppy Szaybo for sorting out all the workshops for Rosetta Arts and hooking me up with new contacts and experiences.

15 March 2015

Back to school // Musical map workshops // Soundtrack your mind map

Excited to be running my first art workshops this month with secondary pupils from Newham Schools. The workshops tie in with my RELAY solo show, currently at Beckton Globe Library (16 January to 8 May 2015), followed by exhibitions at Forest Gate Library and Stratford Library. Secondary school pupils will be making Musical Map Compositions, based on my music box piece based on a field study of Michaelmas flowers. Primary school pupils will be making Story Starters, via drawings and the renaming of dandelions and collaged story worlds. A new venture to look forward to.

2 March 2015

In the library // The Story Within // A solo show by Sonya Patel Ellis

Delighted to announce my new solo show The Story Within is now open to the good people of Newham and beyond, in the amazing rotunda room of Beckton Globe Library – catch it there until 8 May or catch me for a private view of the same work at Forest Gate Library from 18 May 2015, and thereafter in Stratford. It seems that pressing flowers really is all the rage...

It's been a busy few months with much to be excited about – not least the news that I won the Rosetta Arts / Newham Council RELAY solo show back in January, to be exhibited at Beckton Library (9 Feb-8 May), Forest Gate Library (18 May-7 August) and Stratford Library over the course of 2015.

As well as having my herbarium-inspired, pressed-flower artworks on display, I'll also be delivering a series of workshops to various Newham school, youth and community groups starting in mid-March. Amazing that one show can lead to so many other things. Thanks once more to CoffeE7 for letting me show my work there first.

The Story Within – journey to the Globe

Rosetta Arts approached me to enter the RELAY competition having seen my The Earth Laughs in Flowers show in CoffeE7 in March 2014, as my work seemed to appropriate and I ticked all the right boxes – a local artist, living, working or studying within Newham; interested in bringing artworks to the community of Newham; willing to lend my works for a year; and up for delivering or assisting in workshops with schools and other local community groups.

The thing that swung it for me was to have my work on show in a library. When it comes to libraries, I am a huge fan – of the books, the idea of books being freely available to everyone, and the space that they provide in which to work, study, read, dream, be inspired, be peaceful, deliver information make plans or meet friends. How libraries can be in such decline I have no idea. I also have a vested interest in everything books having worked in book publishing for over 10 years, most recently as a commissioning editor but also as an author, writer and editor. 

It's quite possible that I can't exist without books – reading them, looking at the pictures, buying them just for the covers, collecting old vintage copies, piling them up on my desk and shelves, taking far too many out of the library at once, reading them to my children, rendering them half-sodden in the bath, and now pressing flowers in them as a form of accepted and appreciated artwork. 

Those who saw my show at CoffeE7, now installed in its entirety at the quite wonderful space that is Beckton Globe Library – an amazing rotunda room – there are works where flowers were pressed in between the pages of books. These flowers were then mounted onto the pages of those books, at which point a narrative began to form. The flowers and the pages became one image. The story within began to unfold and formed my winning entry to the Rosetta Arts RELAY competition:

The Story Within would place works from The Earth Laughs in Flowers exhibition in a new environment – namely the library – as directed by the three venues on RELAY’s touring schedule: Stratford Library, Beckton Library and Forest Gate Library. 
By placing these works in the company of books, the sanctuary of the library and the fellowship of readers, it would allow me to further explore a key component of The Herbarium Project: that of art as story maker. 
It would be my hope that visitors would be able to view my works as a doorway into the world of story-making, and encourage them to find new and inspiring ways to develop narrative – in art, writing, performance or simply conversation.
Through proposed Q&A sessions and workshops, I could then also encourage various community groups to look more closely at the world around them, develop imaginative interpretations of their findings, and find the story within all of us.
The advent of Flowerism

Having developed my own narrative for entry to the competition, I then duly submitted my artwork (all 32 pieces of it) and awaited a response. I feel very honoured to have won the competition, at such a fledgling point in my art career, and excited to bring the concept and ideas behind my work to the good folk of Newham.

The exhibition and ensuing workshops fit the concept of my wider aims as The Herbarium Project perfectly – an ideal 'platform for conversations about links between art, nature, books, science and culture'.

The venues are a mixture of known and unknown and therefore interesting and exciting, and the timeline is fantastic given that my show will be exhibiting in Forest Gate Library during the area's inaugural Arts Trail (more about that soon).

It's also great that our libraries are now embracing art and making clear steps to bring such things to the wider community, and I'm excited to be part of that.

In fact I couldn't ask for a better result, than my first experience of interacting with my 'audience' at a small opening for my show in Beckton Library last week. Rather than the usual array of art folk that we mingle with so often at private views, we had the pleasure of chatting with general visitors to the library and kids from the school next door and further afield.

One pair of young men from Year 8 of Forest Gate's St Bonnaventure's School told me they had been learning about art movements and asked what movement I considered my work to be from.

'I'm not sure,' I replied. 'Maybe applied art, something along the lines of William Morris perhaps?'

'May we suggest Flowerism', was their response. I haven't stopped smiling since.



Sonya is a writer, editor and visual artist living and working in Forest Gate. This exhibition presents a series of her artworks that explore links between nature, art, science, books and culture.

Her works include: a Herbarium Wall of pressed flower and plant specimens from her garden, a tribute to the Upper Cut Club where Jimi Hendrix wrote the lyrics for Purple Haze; a musical map based on a field study of Michelmas Daisies in Forest Gate and the E7#9 Purple Haze chord; and a series of pressed flowers juxtaposed with the pages of the art books used to press them. Each piece of work links with the next, creating a winding narrative that crosses aesthetics, history, myth, geography and music.

By placing these works in the company of books, the sanctuary of the library and the fellowship of the reader, they take on a new meaning – that of art as story maker.

There will be a series of free events and workshops associated with this exhibition including talks by the artist.

All venues have step-free access to the exhibition spaces. For any specific access requirements, please contact the relevant library directly.

Exhibition tour:

Beckton Library: 9 February - 8 May 2015

Forest Gate Library: 18 May - 7 August 2015
Stratford Library: 17 August - 6 November 2015

Visit www.rosettaarts.org/relay for details and www.theherbariumproject.com for Sonya's work.


Sonya Patel Ellis is a writer, editor and visual artist living and working in Forest Gate, and the founder of The Herbarium Project (www.theherbariumproject.com) – a platform for the creative exploration of links between nature, art, science, books and culture. 

The Herbarium Project was officially launched in March 2014, with a solo exhibition of works created by Ellis entitled The Earth Laughs in Flowers. Works included a Herbarium Wall of 17 pressed and mounted flower and plant specimens from Ellis’ garden in Forest Gate; a tribute to the Upper Cut Club, formerly located on nearby Woodgrange Road; a musical interpretation of a field study of Michaelmas daisies in the area, plotted and played through a hand-turned musical box; a series of flowers arranged on the pages of the books in which they were pressed; and a call to local people to take part in a herbarium of the front gardens of Forest Gate.

Since the exhibition, Ellis has gone on to collaborate with other local artists and organisations to further realize the aims of The Herbarium Project. This includes working with Children’s Gallery, Lakehouse Lake Project and Epping Forest to organize events on Wanstead Flats, notably a Big Draw woodland gallery event and Forest Gate’s first ever Carnival of Light. She is also a key figure in the launch of the Forest Gate Community Garden and is helping to develop the Forest Gate Arts Trail.

The RELAY solo exhibition The Story Within provides a great way for Ellis to launch into 2015 and reach an even more diverse range of people with the core ideas and messages behind her work, most centrally nature and books.

For more information visit www.theherbariumproject.com.


RELAY is a programme of touring visual art exhibitions initiated through the collaboration of the London Borough of Newham and Rosetta Art Centre. It’s title reflects the inspiration born out of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games through the passing of art exhibitions from one venue to another, much as the baton is passed from athlete to athlete. 

The concept of the tour is to bring artworks to the community of Newham, giving greater accessibility and opportunity to engage with arts and culture. The exhibition will tour around three library venues in the borough: Stratford Library, Beckton Library and Forest Gate Library. It will be on show for 12 weeks in each venue.

For more information visit www.rosettaarts.org/relay.

20 February 2015

On the shelf // Mother's Day Cards // In store at Number 8 Forest Gate

Got some new wares on sale at Number 8 Forest Gate next month. In addition to Upper Cut Posters and Bespoke Book Flower Presses, The Herbarium Project will be selling a selection of printed greetings cards, just in time for Mother's Day. The cards are blank inside so can be used for all manner of occasions.

E7 Magazine is going well and now has over 500 Twitter followers, all good signs that people are interested and hopefully value the benefits of a local magazine.

22 January 2015

In the neighbourhood // E7 Magazine // New launch

Seem to have launched a local magazine E7 Magazine (www.e7magazine.com) this month, with the aim of bring together all the community groups, activities and events that are going on in Forest Gate – and get back to some regular writing in the small amount of time I have between school runs! There are so many great things going on in the area, proud to be part of it. Looking forward to launching a Local Directory to go with it soon, as a way to crowd fund the mag and hopefully take it into print at some point...

16 January 2015

Going for gold // Winner of Rosetta Arts RELAY competition // The Story Within

Great news on winning the Rosetta Arts RELAY program solo show. My work will now be on show at three Newham libraries – Beckton Globe, The Gate in Forest Gate, and Stratford Library – throughout 2015. I'll also be doing a series of workshops during the year, with school children and community groups – a fantastic opportunity to help educate young people about nature, art, books, observation and everything The Herbarium Project stands for. Thanks to the RELAY judges for selecting me.

15 January 2015

In the cafe // The Green Man Returns // Herbarium Specimens

Got some more work on the walls at our lovely local cafe CoffeE7 in Forest Gate. This time it's part of a group show curated by local historian Lloyd Jeans entitled The Green Man Returns. Last year he dressed up as the Green Man, complete with leafy headdress, which he subsequently left on my doorstep on 1 May as tradition upholds. What to do but press and mount the remnants as herbarium specimens. The show also includes paintings and drawings by artist Tom Ellis, a video and photographs by Andrew Okello and the Green Man costume in all its pagan glory.

16 December 2014

Under the Long Night Moon // Forest Gate Carnival of Light

Thanks to everyone who came to Forest Gate's very first Carnival of Light on Saturday 6 December, a truly magical afternoon which began with the most beautiful sunset melting into the horizon of Wanstead Flats and ended under the glow of the most amazing Long Nights Moon. Hope to organise some more enchanting events in this wonderful section of Epping Forest soon and in other natural locations around Forest Gate. See you there...

Forest Gate's very first Carnival of Lights, hosted by The Herbarium Project, Children's Gallery, Lakehouse Lake Project and City of London Epping Forest (Col Epping Forest), was such a heartwarming, great success largely due to the generosity of the people involved, their creative vision, and the truly magical location in a small woodland stretch of Wanstead Flats by Jubilee Pond.

Sun setting over kaleidoscopic
lanterns from lantern workshops
We were also blessed with quite extraordinary weather – the perfect sunny but cold winter's day – with glorious sunshine in the afternoon, melting into an amber sunset, which then appeared to rise again as the most  breathtaking and almost supernatural red moon of quite gigantic proportions.

The Cold Moon, Long Nights Moon, Gemini Moon, Oak Moon or Moon Before Yule are common names attributed to the last full moon in December, according to historic English Almanacs, which this year took place on the 6 December 2014. A happy coincidence for everyone who attended our Carnival of Lights and could watch the sun set and moon rise over Wanstead Flats, a location shrouded with magic, mystery and ancient history, Epping Forest's most southerly spot. Obviously we ordered this moon for everyone – amazing what a bit of Pagan dancing can do!

The Long Night Moon rising above Wanstead Flats
The Long Night Moon gets its name from its position in the sky, the only night in the month when the moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky. It also has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low sun, and as such appears to linger above the horizon for a long time. We've since also found out that our Carnival of Lights also precipitated another amazing astronomical phenomenon with a Geminid meteor show beginning on Sunday 7 December featuring 10 shooting stars per hour for 10 days – a perfect match.

A magical woodland spot, five minutes' walk
from the centre of Forest Gate
Thanks to everyone who came and made lanterns, made merry in the woodland and processed across Wanstead Flats to celebrate the switching on of Forest Gate's official Christmas Lights in Woodgrange Marketplace. We owe particular thanks to the wandering minstrels and their accordions, guitars and violins; the delicious vegetable soup and bread from Kate and Lee Tiernan; the hot local cider donated by the Wanstead Tap; and the kind support of City of London Epping Forest for letting us host our event in such a glorious spot, clearing the spot and lending us a marquee. All of these things helped keep us warm.

Nature-inspired lanterns by
The Herbarium Project
Last but not least a big toast to: Nicola Cunningham of Children's Gallery for amazing lantern making kits, lantern workshops – the kaleidoscopic results of which were hanging on red ribbons between the trees, the scooter choir song and the illuminated woodland music and play area; Nicola's husband Rocco Turino of London Sculpture for the awesome Mute Swan which led our parade; Billy Waters of Lakehouse Lake Project for funding from his group, amazing lights from Pixipixel, the mist machine and brilliant festoon of lanterns across the flats, constant promotion and for carrying loads of stuff on crutches; Thibaud Madelin, our local Forest Ranger for CoL Epping Forest, who made it possible to hold our event, lent his enthusiasm, set up the Carnival of Lights Lantern Making HQ, and did the most astonishing clear up with the aid of his truck headlights; and most humbly to myself, Sonya Patel Ellis of The Herbarium Project, for poster design, funding from Newham Council, lantern making kits, last minute nature-inspired paper mache lanterns hanging in the trees – with the help of her husband the artist Tom Ellis – and general frenzied blogging and tweeting in the run up to and post event. For a full list of thanks and more behind the scene details see our previous post here.

Scroll down for a gallery of images with photography by Sonya Patel Ellis, Billy Waters, Nicola Cunningham, Thibaud Madelin, Lloyd Jeans and Eleanor Pearce. If you would like to use any images for articles or similar please contact sonyapatelellis@gmail.com.


The Herbarium Project
The Herbarium Project is a platform for the creative exploration of links between nature, art, science, books and culture, created by writer, editor and visual artist Sonya Patel Ellis. The project officially launched in March 2014 with an exhibition of botanically-inspired works by Ellis at CoffeE7 in Forest Gate, London E7, including a herbarium of her garden pressed over a year (see review Time Out). When not making books for various publishers – including Nature Tales: Encounters with Britain's Wildlife – she is also involved with the Forest Gate Community Garden, creating and maintaining their website and blog. This is the first of hopefully many collaborations with Children's Gallery, Lakehouse Lake Project and CoL Epping Forest.
www.theherbariumproject.com / sonyapatelellis@gmail.com / @sonyapatelellis

Children's Gallery
Children's Gallery is a place for children of all ages to create and exhibit their work, founded by artist and early years teacher Nicola Cunningham. It also provides cutting edge, outdoors, kinaesthetic, collaborative, experimental music and movement. Events, gatherings and art sessions have so far been held at the Wanstead Tap in Forest Gate and continue with The Big Draw on Wanstead Flats and the Carnival of Light. Look out for more events and workshops in the future.
www.childrens-gallery.com / nichumbug@gmail.com / @mychildgenius

Lakehouse Lake Project
The Lakehouse Lake Project is a non-political volunteer group of local residents who care for Jubilee Pond on Wanstead Flats. The project has already played a big part in initial consultation and design plans of the Jubilee Pond and will be key to caring for it in the future. Epping Forest’s legendary volunteer force will also be helping with landscaping tasks like planting and construction of the pond dipping platform. The City Corporation is encouraging local people to join the Lakehouse Lake Porject in helping with improvements and keeping the area looking beautiful. www.wansteadwildlife.org.uk/index.php/lakehouse-lake-project / jubileepond@gmail.com / @jubileepond

City of London Epping Forest
Epping Forest, London's largest open space, is a registered charity managed by the City of London at little cost to the public. Whether you wish to escape the urban sprawl and simply unwind, or want something a little more active, Epping Forest has something for everyone. There are numerous events throughout the year and plenty of activities to get involved in, from walking, running and cycling to horse riding, angling, football and even golf – and of course Forest Gate's Carnival of Light on Wanstead Flats. There are also four Forest Centres to visit, with exhibitions, special events and friendly staff to help you find your way around the Forest. The Forest covers around 6,000 acres and stretches from Manor Park to just north of Epping. Two thirds of the Forest has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

Photography by Sonya Patel Ellis, Billy Waters, Nicola Cunningham, Thibaud Madelin, Lloyd Jeans and Eleanor Pearce. If you would like to use any images for articles or similar please contact sonyapatelellis@gmail.com.


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