Here is the largest area of woodland in East London – and within walking distance of the City of London, the square mile in the capital’s centre dominated by towering office blocks around the Bank of England.
Stretching from Mile End to Bow Common, its thirty acres are pictured on a map with names such as Horse Chestnut Glade, Linden Groves, The Dells, Poplar Wood and Cherry Glade – which sound cheerful and very inviting, not a dark and gloomy place you imagine a cemetery to be.
It is full of life with a mix of mature, broadleaved woodlands with sycamore, oak, horse chestnut and oak trees along with meadows.
There are so many different species of creatures that thrive in these environments that there are regular studies by scientists and nature lovers.
Each year, over sixty species of birds can be spotted including firecrests who overwinter here. There are bird boxes and feeding stations to encourage the birds to visit, to stay and to build nests.
More than 30 species of butterflies have been recorded including the essex skipper, orange tip, comma and brimstone as well as over 30 species of moth.
Hedgehogs have been seen scuttling around and bank voles darting across the ground.
Foxes appear and disappear into the overgrowth.
There is a huge variety of bees, beetles and spiders and so much wildlife to learn about here with a vast amount of information to study and increase our knowledge and understanding of the natural world – and our dependence on it for all aspects of our lives.
Autumn is a special time to visit when the leaves on the trees turn red and orange and yellow – on a misty day the sight and sound and sensation of walking through the cemetery is so evocative.
But all through the seasons there is peace and beauty to be found here.
Walk from Mile End Park or Mile End Station or Bow Road Station or Bow Church Station