The Bethnal Green Nature Reserve is a cultural institute focused on ecological research and community learning in the heart of East London.

We host an annual residency for researchers working across the humanities, architecture and science. Our public programme actively engages with the environmental and social complexities of the surrounding urban landscape. The projects page on this website highlights some of our past and current work.

This space is a WW2 bomb-site that has been cared for since 1977 by local residents, volunteers, staff, trustees and its non-human inhabitants. The Nature Reserve has a delicate and complex ecosystem of plants, bats, birds, trees, soil, fungi, amphibians, insects, invertebrates and mammals (including people). We collectively want this space to exist and nurture a diverse urban ecosystem for many years to come.

How to get involved: We invite anyone to become a site caretaker. Site care can take many forms, including:

  • Treading softly and keeping to the paths
  • Litter picking
  • Watering the medicine garden and young trees
  • Composting
  • Attending to the compost toilet
  • Wetlands and bat habitat management
  • Woodland management
  • Showing up for volunteer sessions and working days
  • Attending our Annual General Meeting’s each Autumn

We ask everyone accessing the site to help care and conserve the site. We can arrange an introduction on how to support the Reserve tailored to your interests and abilities. Taking care of the Reserve is a great opportunity to connect with the natural world on your doorstep.

Please contact info@nomad.org.uk if you would like to join our team or hear more about the history of this unusual and remarkable place. We are a voluntary group so we really appreciate your patience while waiting for a reply.

Opening times

We host weekly volunteer sessions each Saturday 11am – 1pm, 6th May till 26th November, 2023.

The Nature Reserve will be open for drop-in visits each Saturday 1pm – 5pm, 6th May till 25th November, 2023. No prior booking is required during this time.

©2023 Bethnal Green Nature Reserve Trust