St. Mary's Church and Churchyard, East Ham

Description and Plant List

The Parish Church of St. Mary Magdalene is over 800 years old and its churchyard is one of the largest in Britain. The church is still used but since 1977 the churchyard has been managed to protect its wildlife. The WREN Conservation Group played an active part in establishing aspects of the churchyard for the benefit of wildlife and visitors. This included the creation of hedges and a plaque in the churchyard commemorates this.

Nowadays, the Group is not active here, but instead the Newham Conservation Volunteers (NCV) do work from time to time as part of their programme.

David Franklin, who was sixth former studying Biology at East Ham Boys Grammar in 1972/3, has written to the Wren Group to give some background to the early ecology work in St. Mary's Church. He says that the then Head of Biology Stephen Forrester, then close to retiring, used the "captive" sixth formers to do some of the background investigation of the Flora & Fauna. He feels that Stephen was never really credited as being one of the moving forces in the establishment of the Nature Reserve.

The area near to the church is kept tidy for the benefit of worshippers, wedding guests and photographers.


A list of Plants found in St Mary's Churchyard, East Ham

This list was made during an initial survey of the site on 30th June 1977 by Paul Ferris.

The sequence of plants in the list follows the order and nomenclature of Clapham, Tutin and Warburg (1962), and the page numbers which refer to a particular species are indicated by 'CTW'


Scientific Name
Common Name
69 Ranunculus acris Meadow Buttercup
96 Papaver rhoeas Common Poppy
98 Papaver somniferum Opium Poppy
129 Sinapis arvensis Charlock
131 Diplotaxis muralis Annual Wall Rocket
149 Capsella bursa-pastoris Shepherd's Purse
160 Armoracia rusticana Horse Radish
180 Sisymbrium officinale Hedge Mustard
182 Sisymbrium altissima Tall Rocket
196 Viola sp. Garden Pansy
217 Silene alba White Campion
242 Stellaria media Common Chickweed
276 Chenopodium album Fat Hen
291 Tilia x europaea Common Lime
297 Althaea rosea Hollyhock
320 Acer pseudoplatanus Sycamore
323 Ilex aquifolium Holly
329 Lupinus (polyphyllus) Garden Lupin
330 Laburnum anagyroides Common Laburnum
335 Medicago lupulina Black Medick
341 Trifolium repens White Clover
345 Trifolium pratense Red Clover
361 Lathyrus latifolius Broad-Leaved Pea
371 Rubus fruticosus agg. Bramble
409 Rosa canina agg. Dog Rose
421 Crataegus monogyna Hawthorn
474 Epilobium tetragonum Square-stemmed Willow-herb
478 Chamaenerion angustifolium Rosebay Willow-herb
494 Hedera helix Ivy
505 Anthriscus sylvestris Cow Parsley
510 Conium maculatum Hemlock
520 Aegopodium podagraria Ground Elder
529 Heracleum sphondylium Hogweed
532 Bryonia dioica White Bryony
545 Polygonum aviculare Knotgrass
547 Polygonum persicaria Red Shank
549 Polygonum cuspidatum Japanese Knotweed
556 Rumex obtusifolius Broad-Leaved Dock
556 Rumex crispus Curled Dock
561 Urtica dioica Nettle
562 Humulus lupulus Hop
563 Ulmus procera English Elm
635 Anagallis arvensis Scarlet Pimpernel
666 Calystegia sepium sepium Hedge Bindweed
666 Convolvulus arvensis Field Bindweed
666 Calystegia sepium silvatica Great Bindweed
751 Ballota nigra Black Horehound
754 Lamium album White Dead-nettle
754 Lamium purpureum Red Dead-Nettle
764 Plantago major Great Plantain
784 Galium aparine Cleavers
788 Sambucus nigra Elder
821 Senecio squalidus Oxford Ragwort
823 Senecio vulgaris Groundsel
846 Bellis perennis Daisy
851 Achillea millefolium Yarrow
854 Matricaria matricarioides Pineapple Mayweed
854 Matricaria recutita Scented Mayweed
859 Artemisia vulgaris Mugwort
864 Arctium minus Lesser Burdock
866 Cirsium Welted Thistle
869 Cirsium arvense Creeping Thistle
883 Hypochoeris radicata Common Cat's-ear
891 Lactuca serriola Prickly Lettuce
930 Taraxacum officinale Dandelion
968 Asparagus officinalis Asparagus
974 Endymion non-scriptus Bluebell
1130 Lolium perenne Perennial Rye-Grass
1149 Anisantha sterilis Barren Brome
1159 Hordeum murinum Wall Barley
1165 Holcus lanatus Yorkshire Fog