Epping Forest is the largest public open space in the London area, at almost 6,000 acres. It stretches 12 miles from Manor Park in East London to just north of Epping in Essex. As well as being a popular area for recreation and enjoyment it is also of national and international conservation importance with two thirds of it being designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Many habitats within the forest are threatened. In order to maintain the diversity of these habitats we have, since 1977, undertaken practical tasks on important sites. Particularly threatened are the ponds and bogs of the forest, the open grasslands and heaths. We occasionally work outside the forest, assisting other conservation groups such as the Essex Wildlife Trust.
Our task programme is varied and operates throughout the year. All work is with the approval of the Conservators of Epping Forest and in consultation with the Superintendent of the Forest and other interested parties.
Work on bogs and ponds is carried out to improve and maintain these special habitats. This involves removal of silt, rubbish, encroaching vegetation and cutting back of overshadowing trees. Scrub clearance is essential to protect and preserve the Forest's rapidly disappearing heathland. Today, these sites are no longer kept open by traditional methods. Systematic removal of small trees, scrub and bracken allows the characteristic plants and animals to flourish.
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