One of the most prominent land marks in Leyton is St Mary’s with St Edmund and St Luke, the Leyton Parish Church. The Churchyard – now a nature reserve - is home to two grade 2 listed monuments alongside the grade 2 listed church building, although the overall condition of the churchyard is somewhat deteriorated from its original glory. Two priests are known to be in Leyton in 1086 and a church is known to be in the area before 1200 the current church building dates to 1650 probably built on the site of the older Saxon church.
There are scattered trees, shrubs and tall herbs throughout the nature reserve and the site provides valuable access to nature in a part of Leyton which is lacking in accessible wildlife sites. English Heritage recently awarded the site protected status.
The Friends of St Mary’s Nature Reserve is run by local volunteers who work with the Council’s Greenspace team. Through this partnership, local volunteers get a greater say in what goes on in the nature reserve and can help in improving different aspects of the site. This may take place in the form of helping with conservation tasks, organising local community events, fundraising and much more. The Friends group also helps to care for the site and are involved in improving areas such as the appearance, facilities and safety.
New members are always welcome!
The nature reserve is a much needed green space in the local area and with your support could be used for more local community events and projects.
Training and support is available through The Conservation Volunteers, an environmental charity commissioned by Waltham Forest Council to support existing Friends Groups and to help residents set up new Friends groups for parks and open spaces across the borough. To find out more about joining or setting up a Friends Group, why not check out our ‘About Friends Groups’ section on the main menu, or click here to start with ‘Who are Friends Groups’.