Forest Focus Summer 2019

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Summer 2019

Forest Focus

The magazine for Epping Forest

Verderer’s election

Explore Warlies Park this summer

Free

Open Air Theatre returns to Wanstead Park Summer 2019 Forest Focus 1


Welcome With the lazy days of summer upon us, be sure to visit Epping Forest for a stroll beneath the cool of the trees. Why not bring a picnic, seek out a quiet woodland glade and while the day away beneath the Forest’s ancient boughs?

Any visit to the Forest over the summer is sure to leave one feeling chilled but if you’re looking for something more energetic to do, be sure to check out our summer events, including our ever-popular Open Air Theatre productions in Wanstead Park. P15

As the Forest quietens down from the burst of busyness that spring brings, with the frenzy to build nests, find a mate and proclaim territories, nature somehow becomes more relaxed over the summer months. Spring bird song gives way to the gentle buzz of bees and steady chirruping of crickets, whilst the Forest’s cattle chew the cud, helping to maintain the important woodpasture habitat under the shade of the trees.

Not everyone is feeling the slower pace of life, as many animals busy themselves finding food for their young. Several of the Forest’s larger lakes are patrolled by pairs of swans, one of the Forest’s most unmistakable and magnificent birds, as they guard their young. Gill Walker from the Swan Sanctuary sheds some light on the plight of these stunning creatures and the work that the Swan Sanctuary does in helping care for Epping Forest’s swans. P16

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Swimming in the Forest

Are you a commoner? Electing our Verderers

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Gilwell Park – Scouts, skills and a century of change 2 Forest Focus Summer 2019

15

Open Air Theatre returns to Wanstead Park

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Suntrap refurbishment


In this issue of Forest Focus we highlight one of the most popular areas of Buffer Land by including a super summer walk across the former parkland of Warlies Park. P12 Enjoy this wonderful time of year and do share your photos with us on social media, #EppingForest. @COLEppingForest Epping Forest City of London coleppingforest

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Waltham Forest’s London Borough of Culture – events taking place in Epping Forest

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Explore Warlies Park this summer

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Caring for the Forests swans

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A wander around Warlies Park Summer 2019 Forest Focus 3


News in brief Why not explore some of our other open spaces? The City of London owns and manages green spaces in and around London for public recreation and health, including Epping Forest, Hampstead Heath, Burnham Beeches, City Commons, City Gardens, City of London Cemetery and Crematorium and West Ham Park. The Open Spaces Department also includes London Heritage sites: Keats’ House, The Monument and Tower Bridge. See our website for a full list of sites, locations and facilities. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/ greenspaces Forest Focus is produced by the City of London Corporation.

Edited by Clare Eastwood Design by Steers McGillan Eves www.steersmcgillaneves.co.uk Print by APS Southern Ltd Photographers: Clare Eastwood, Gilwell Park, Chris Shepherd, Suntrap Education Centre, Gill Walker, Yvette Woodhouse The inclusion of advertising, logos or website links in this magazine does not constitute an endorsement by the City of London Corporation in its capacity as Conservators of Epping Forest or otherwise of the products or services so advertised.

Keep in touch Why not sign up to receive our email version of Forest Focus? If you prefer to receive a printed copy in the post, please forward a cheque, along with your name and address, for £2.50 per edition or £10 for four editions. Please make cheques payable to The City of London and post to the address below. Free of charge copies are available from the Forest Visitor Centres and at many other venues in and around the Forest. You can also read Forest Focus online for free at www.issuu.com/cityoflondoneppingforest If you would like to receive a copy of Forest Focus in an alternative format, please contact us. Epping Forest, The Warren, Loughton, Essex IG10 4RW 020 8532 1010

@COLEppingForest

epping.forest@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Epping Forest City of London

www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/ eppingforest 4 Forest Focus Summer 2019

c oleppingforest

Epping Forest artist-in-residence Our artist-in-residence, local composer Ellie Wilson, has been busy in Epping Forest taking inspiration for a series of new works as part of her ‘Echoes’ project. Echoes is looking particularly at how people have interacted with and shaped the woodland landscape, and is linked to Waltham Forest’s year as London Borough of Culture, a Mayor of London initiative, integrating with ‘The People’s Forest’ which is being curated by Luke Turner and Kirsteen McNish. Ellie has recently been researching Loughton Camp and is developing a graphic score for the music which will evolve from this Scheduled Ancient Monument. Ellie has also been undertaking field recordings, including some in a pond at Fairmead. Ellie Wilson’s compositions will be launched in the autumn. The music will be available to listen to via a sound installation at Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford. Please do keep up to date with the project and find out when the event details are announced by visiting our website www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/ eppingforestevents

Above: The Temple, Wanstead Park Cover: The Temple rotunda at Warlies Park


Summer holiday programme Have fun and enjoy exploring together at Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford this summer. Our summer programme for families will help you to get closer to nature and discover the unique heritage of Epping Forest. Choose from a range of activities led by the learning team. See P19–22 for details.

Volunteering success New community at High Beach activities and Celebrating the 5th anniversary environmental of managing the Visitor Centre at education in High Beach Wanstead Park In April 2014, the Friends of Epping Forest (now Epping Forest Heritage Trust) took on the operation of the Forest Visitor Centre at High Beach due to threat of closure. During the past five years, more than 96,000 visitors have come to the Centre, seeking guidance on where to go, what to do, and to discover more about Epping Forest.

This spring an anniversary celebration was held to thank the 25 volunteers who have done a magnificent job making this possible. A ribbon cutting ceremony with Dame Eleanor Laing MP, the Chairman of the Epping Forest and Commons Committee and local mayors was held to mark the anniversary and to begin the next chapter at the Centre. Epping Forest Heritage Trust, a charity, works to preserve the Forest and increase people’s knowledge and understanding of the Forest. Further information, www.efht.org.uk

The Field Studies Council (FSC) in partnership with the Friends of Wanstead Parklands were delighted to announce the introduction of environmental activities for schools, families and community groups in Wanstead Park, Bush Wood, and Wanstead Flats in Epping Forest. The two-year project is funded by the City of London Corporation’s ‘Enjoying Green Spaces and the Natural Environment’ strand of the Central Grants Programme. This funding will enable the FSC, in partnership with the Friends of Wanstead Parklands, to run a programme of family activities in school holidays and at weekends, community activities for local groups and environmental themed school visits.

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Are you a commoner? Electing our Verderers

Do you own or use at least half an acre of land within the ancient boundary of Epping Forest? If so, you may qualify as a commoner. The next round of Verderer elections is due in March 2020. Would you like to stand or are you eligible to vote? To vote, you must be a commoner and be listed on the Register. Here’s a brief explanation of why and how these fascinating and historic elections are run. Epping Forest is managed by the Epping Forest and Commons Committee – consisting mainly of twelve members of the City of London Court of Common Council who have been elected by wards in the square mile – but unlike other similar Committees, there are in addition four Verderers who are elected locally and who are not members of the Court of Common Council. They have the same “powers, authorities, rights, and privileges as the members thereof selected from the Court of Common Council, and no other or different powers, authorities, rights, or privileges” for matters dealt with by this Committee pertaining to Epping Forest.

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Verderers and members work in an entirely voluntary capacity and receive no remuneration for their time. Traditionally, since 1130, Verderers were judicial officers of a Royal Forest. They administered Forest Law on behalf of the monarch (literally protecting the vert and venison or flora and fauna), but Epping Forest ceased to be a Royal Forest when it was founded in its current form by the Epping Forest Act 1878. The authors of our founding Act decided that the role of Verderer would remain, that there would be four on our committee, two representing the northern and two representing the southern parishes, and that they would represent the interests of

commoners – local residents who used the Forest to graze their cattle. With the change in the character of the Forest and the decline in commoning, the Verderers have for many years now interpreted their role more widely as representing both commoners and the public living in and visiting the Forest. The Act has, since 1878, set out some strict criteria for who can be Verderers, who can elect them, and particularly the frequency and method of those elections. These rules have been unchanged since Victorian times and fundamentally untouched by the more recent introductions and amendments of the Representation of the People Act 1918 (with the one exception that women are now equally as eligible as men to become Verderers and commoners, which was not the case in our original Act). This means that the elections themselves are conducted in a way that is unfamiliar to modern voters in order to comply with our historic legislation. The elections are septennial (every seven years) and only registered Epping Forest commoners are eligible to vote. Commoners are owners and occupiers of land comprising at least half an acre of old enclosure, not covered by buildings and capable of receiving cattle within the ancient boundary of Epping Forest. Groups, businesses and organisations who occupy such sites do qualify, but they must nominate only one representative


to vote. Verderers themselves do not have to be commoners but must also be resident in one of those ancient parishes and not be members of the Court of Common Council. Nominations, canvassing and elections are held in swift succession. Should polling be necessary (if there are more nominees than vacancies), then the election will be held “…not less than one clear day or more than three clear days…” after the

“Commoners are owners and occupiers of land and tenements lying within the ancient boundary of Epping Forest” nomination meeting, which leaves little time for candidates to prepare or canvass their electorate. The Act states that there will be polling stations in the north and south of the Forest (at least one must be in Epping) and polling will take place on different days in the north and south. Perhaps the most surprising detail of these elections is on polling day itself – unlike all modern elections this is not a secret ballot. Should you be a commoner and wish to vote, on entering the polling station you will be asked to identify yourself and your voting intention – this will be recorded by the Poll Clerk in a ledger, visible to all who vote subsequently! The Register of Commoners settling the Register, will be available to view for a short period before elections. The nominations, and elections if required, must be held by 20 March 2020, with the newly appointed Verderers taking office by 25 March. Links to the ancient parish map and other information can be found on our website. You do not need to be a practising commoner to register. If you think you qualify as a commoner, or are interested in standing as a Verderer, please contact Alex Berry, City of London Electoral Services Manager at alex.berry@cityoflondon.gov.uk or Jo Hurst, Epping Forest Business Manager at epping.forest@ cityoflondon.gov.uk

Where in the woods? There are two new ways of identifying your location when out and about in Epping Forest. What3words We are aware that Forest visitors can come across something that they would like to report, such as a fly tip or an injured animal, but cannot always give an accurate location or grid reference to describe its precise location. Recently we have discovered an app called ‘what3words’ which may help in this situation. What3words is available on iOS as well as Android. It is, however, dependent on a mobile phone signal, so not all the Forest will be accessible; but for those areas that are covered, users can pin-point to within a few metres the exact location. The app has both an aerial view as well as a map view, so it is easy to toggle between the two. If the phone is set to location, the accuracy is excellent and the location can be easily identified to a third party, including the Epping Forest office who can locate the site using a standard PC. Each square is 3m x 3m; give it a try and see how easy it is. The app will be invaluable when more users log onto it to report issues as well as when it is used with the emergency services. Essex Police and Essex Fire and Rescue are already users.

Forest gate numbering Recently, all the Forest’s barrier gates have been numbered and given a name, which will help everyone identify their location when in Epping Forest. Summer 2019 Forest Focus 7


Swimming in the Forest Whilst swimming is no longer permitted in Epping Forest for safety reasons, in bygone days people would have enjoyed swimming in the Forest’s ponds. When Epping Forest was first opened to the public, they took the opportunity to swim in its numerous ponds, most of which were formed from old gravel pits. Popular swimming sites included the very deep Wake Valley Pond, Wintry Wood Lake in the Lower Forest (created in 1893, complete with diving board and changing shed) and some of the scenic lakes in Wanstead Park, where Olympic trials took place in the 1930s. Men and women also chose to bathe in other less suitable ponds, leading to concerns about affronts to public decency. One local who enjoyed a dip was Walthamstow man William Vincent. A pioneer wildlife photographer, his early 20th century magic lantern slides are 8 Forest Focus Summer 2019

held in our Epping Forest museum collection, which you can view on e-hive. One picture shows him ‘wild swimming’, as it would now be called. The best used swimming pool within the Forest was the Whipps Cross Lido, to the north of Hollow Ponds. Here in 1905 Leyton Council organised for unemployed men to dig out by hand a pool that became very muddy and unhygienic. The Council later agreed to fund its improvement and it was reopened in 1932 by the Lord Mayor of London as a new lido or open-air swimming pool. It was oval in shape with a 100 yard straight section for racing, and changing rooms were provided. Fed by an underground spring, the water was found to be unhealthy. The Lido closed in 1933, but reopened in 1937 after a big makeover – the floor had been sealed with concrete and the water heavily chlorinated. The new look 300 ft by 130 ft pool also had a connected circular diving pool 30 ft deep. Whipps Cross Lido was very popular with locals. During the 1960s, I can well remember its large water slide, the gushing three-tier fountain and getting grazed knees from slipping on the rather slimy concrete. I took my own small children there at the start of the ‘80s but by then it was in a sorry state. It closed in 1982 and within a year the site had been levelled and returned to Forest land. Steven Denford, Heritage Information Assistant

Please note that swimming is no longer permitted anywhere in Epping Forest. If you would like to experience swimming in an open space environment, do visit our sister site Hampstead Heath www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/ hampsteadheathswimming


Suntrap refurbishment Over the past 52 years, thousands of children from Waltham Forest and surrounding boroughs have had their first experience of engaging with their natural heritage at Suntrap Forest Centre based in High Beach. The Centre’s aim continues to be outdoor learning, experiencing and exploring the rich history and habitats of Epping Forest. To ensure future generations will be able to enjoy Suntrap’s unique offer, the Centre will be closed from July 2019 to April 2020 in order to undergo major refurbishment work. One exciting redevelopment will be residential eco experience wooden pods providing back to nature encounters all year round. Before the start of this exciting transformation, come along for one last chance to say farewell at the free Family Open Day on 29 June from 11am to 3pm. There will be a range of activities to celebrate the Suntrap legacy, including a memorabilia auction and every child’s favourite – pond dipping! The artist-in-residence, Emma Bond, will be displaying illustrations capturing the centre and running an artist workshop.

Bring a picnic and bid for a piece of Suntrap history. Parking will be available on site and a shuttle bus service will be available from Chingford Station to Suntrap Forest Centre throughout the event. During the closure, Suntrap staff will be operating in a very different way, taking their expert skills into the community through Suntrap On Tour. They will be visiting schools, public events and venues, encouraging local people to explore their own patch of local Forest – bringing nature nearer. Other exciting plans include a heritage roadshow of Suntrap’s rich history visiting local libraries. Sign up to the Sunchat newsletter at www.suntrapcentre.co.uk to be the first to read more about Suntrap on Tour and how its auspicious legacy is shaping up. Summer 2019 Forest Focus 9


Epping Forest painting at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2019 We were thrilled to hear that for a second year running, an Epping Forest themed painting is being exhibited at this year’s Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition at Piccadilly, London. Artist, Martin Barrall’s painting of ‘Dave the biker at Bradley’s Tea Hut, Epping Forest’ is on display from Monday 10 June to Monday 12 August. This year’s subject is a portrait of someone who loves Epping Forest and has been a Forest visitor for many, many years. The painting is based on series of drawings and photos of a cold and wet January afternoon at the tea hut. Martin describes “My present fascination is with a small tea hut in the middle of Epping Forest. There is an

eclectic variety of people who visit each day. I think I have a lifetime of subject matter still left to paint in this tiny spot. There are the changing seasons affecting the trees and plants, as well as the many and varied characters that frequent the tea hut. There are bikers, joggers, cyclists, school children, ramblers, dog walkers and horse riders, to name but a few. Some of the regular old timers come every day throughout the year to chat, have a cup of tea or just enjoy the fresh air, bringing their own chairs and blankets in the winter. They make wonderful subjects to paint, primarily because of their different modes of dress and transport, plus the animals they bring along.”

Go Further Cycling We provide cycle hire with top quality and well maintained bikes, at a great location. We also have a well stocked shop with bikes and a great range of clothing and accessories and also offer bike servicing and repairs.

Go Further Cycling Chingford Golf Course 4 Bury Road, Chingford London E4 7QJ

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020 8524 6626 www.gofurthercycling.co.uk info@gofurthercycling.co.uk

Martin’s picture of Bradley, which was exhibited at last year’s Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, has been purchased by the Epping Forest Museum at Waltham Abbey. For further information, visit www.martinbarrall.com


Epping Forest is lucky to have a wonderful team of volunteers covering many different and varied roles in the Forest. One of the most popular volunteering positions is that of a litter picker. With several tonnes of litter deposited in the Forest each year, it is a neverending task. Litter is not only dangerous for wildlife, it costs us over ÂŁ300,000 every year to collect and dispose of, money which could be better spent elsewhere in the Forest. If you think you could spare some time to help litter pick or might be happy to pick litter as you walk your dog, please do let us know, we would be delighted to hear from you. Visitors to Epping Forest are increasingly seeing Volunteer Wardens going about their duties. The Volunteer Warden scheme has been running for a couple of years now. It allows members of the public to volunteer their time to help the Forest by supporting the Forest Keepers.

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There is a huge range of activities in which the Volunteer Wardens get involved, including surveys, checking boundaries, planting in lakes to provide shelter for wildlife and foot patrols. Some Wardens act as Fishing Bailiffs or in other specialised roles. Wardens have the opportunity to be trained as a Task Leader to run practical tasks such as tree felling and scrub clearance. One of the best parts of the role is being able to talk to visitors about the Forest. So, if you do come across a Volunteer Warden, please do stop for a chat. If you would like to put something back into Epping Forest, why not become an Epping Forest volunteer? To find out more, please visit www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/eppingforest

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Explore Warlies Park this summer Warlies Park at Upshire forms part of the Buffer Lands of Epping Forest. This beautiful old parkland, with its fantastic views, is a great place to explore, watch wildlife or while away a summer’s day with a picnic.

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The City of London owns some 720 hectares (1779 acres) of land mainly on the northern fringe of Epping Forest. This Buffer Land has been acquired to protect Epping Forest from encroaching development and to maintain the links between the Forest and the wider countryside. Warlies Park has a rich history; it was once part of the Royal Forest of Essex. It was first landscaped between 1720–1740 when it was owned by Mr Richard Morgan. The design was influenced by the picturesque movement ‘using art to epitomise the beauties of nature’ and structures such as The Temple rotunda and the Obelisk were introduced to achieve this effect.


Be sure to visit the rest of the Buffer Lands …

The Temple, constructed of Portland stone, is now classed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The Park was purchased by Sir Edward North Buxton MP in 1851. His son, Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, inherited the house at the age of 21. Like his younger brother (another Edward North Buxton) he was instrumental in the battle to save Epping Forest in the 1870s and later served as a Verderer for 24 years. Indeed, the Buxton family were very much the philanthropic movers and shakers of their time. The family later

“Fallow and muntjac deer can often be seen, particularly in the northern fields of the Park, together with hares and rabbits.” bought the neighbouring Woodredon House and Estate. Warlies Park became the social centre of West Essex until the Buxtons sold the house and gardens to Dr Barnardo’s in 1921. The Buxtons kept most of the land, which they then sold to the Greater London Council (GLC) in 1974. The land was subsequently farmed by tenants and the woodlands managed by the GLC to protect wildlife. In 1986, with the disbandment of the GLC, Warlies Park Estate, together with the neighbouring Woodredon Estate, passed into the ownership of the City of London. The modern landscape of Warlies Park demonstrates the varied influences of the past centuries.

Two-thirds of the area is parkland, containing scattered clumps of planted trees along with extensive grasslands. Warlies Park is a great area to spot wildlife; it provides an ideal habitat for little owls that are commonly seen in and around the Park. Fallow and muntjac deer can often be seen, particularly in the northern fields of the Park, together with hares and rabbits. The variety of grasses encourages many insects such as bees, grasshoppers and butterflies. As part of the ongoing management of the Park, cattle graze certain areas encouraging the development of a flower-rich sward. Warlies Park can be enjoyed on foot or horse back. As well as a network of public footpaths across the Park, walkers also have open access over most of the area. The high points have excellent views over Essex and Hertfordshire. You are welcome to take dogs onto Warlies Park but please keep them under close control, especially where animals are grazing, and observe any notices advising of temporary restrictions. Horse riders can enjoy the network of permissive routes that cross the Park and link with the existing public bridleway network. Cycling is only permitted on the public bridleways. These permissive routes will be closed temporarily if ground conditions or management operations make it necessary. Why not try out our Warlies Park walk? See P18. We hope you will enjoy this beautiful area of Buffer Land. If you do visit, we’d love to see your photos on social media, use #eppingforest.

Why not explore more of the Buffer Lands this summer? The other sites include: Birch Hall Fields at Theydon Bois, close to the Deer Sanctuary offering a fantastic view of London over the tree canopy. Coopersale Common, lying north of Epping adjacent to the Lower Forest. A quiet haven of green on the edge of Epping. Look out for short-eared owls here. Copped Hall Park south of Epping. With the magnificent Copped Hall mansion set at its heart, Copped Hall Park is a landmark site. Great Gregories Farm between Epping and Theydon Bois. Although there is no access to the farm itself, there are some super walks across the farmland. Monkhams north of Waltham Abbey. An historic site with truly stunning views across the Lee Valley. North Farm, a bucolic island of green nestled between Loughton and Buckhurst Hill. Raveners Farm at Upshire. Another part of the Buffer Lands with great views. Swaines Green on the north-west edge of Epping. A popular walking area with some super spring flowers. Woodredon Estate south of Warlies Park. Criss-crossed with public footpaths, this is another of the former Buxton estates. For further information as to how to access these beautiful areas, please visit www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/ eppingforest or purchase a copy of The Official Map of Epping Forest. Summer 2019 Forest Focus 13


Gilwell Park – Scouting and a century of change Gilwell Park, with Epping Forest on its doorstep, is a 108-acre woodland estate with some spectacular views across London and a truly unique history. For 100 years it has served as the global home of Scouting and this year celebrates a centenary of fun, adventure and skills for life. As such, it’s a place of pilgrimage for Scouts everywhere.

The Scouts made Gilwell their home in 1919, as the world reeled from the aftermath of the First World War. UK Scouting was recovering from the loss of over 5,000 older Scouts and adult volunteers, which created a need to train and develop new leaders and ensure the future of the movement. At that point it had 218,000 members in the UK. The ideal opportunity arose when a benefactor, William de Bois Maclaren, generously offered to buy a camping area for inner city London Scouts who lacked access to suitable grounds. After several months of searching, Gilwell Park was found and purchased for £7,000. The size of the estate (roughly half its current size) meant it would be a perfect camping ground for Scouts and training centre for their leaders. On 17 April 1919, the first Rover Scouts arrived to find the site dilapidated and to start the restoration process. By 12 May, the first Scouts were camping on site and making the most of Gilwell’s amazing location, nestled close to Epping Forest. By September the first training course, the Wood Badge, began and soon attracted participants from around the world. Today Gilwell Park welcomes over 60,000 young people a year, offering them adventure,

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opportunities many of which take place in Epping Forest. There’s also a comfortable, fully licensed hotel with 40 bedrooms and an event centre perfect for weddings, birthday parties, celebration of life and baby showers. An invitation Gilwell Park’s centenary plan will help raise much needed funds to support the development of the first official UK Scouts Museum at Gilwell Park. From ‘The Great Step Forward’ challenge event to free heritage tours and an exhibition at Epping

Forest Museum, ‘Scouts, skills and a century of change: the untold story of Gilwell Park’, there’s lots going on. For further information, please visit www.scoutadventures. org.uk/gilwell-100


Waltham Forest’s London Borough of Culture

Events taking place in Epping Forest

In the previous edition of Forest Focus, we introduced the exciting plans for events taking place in Epping Forest as part of Waltham Forest’s London Borough of Culture, a Mayor of London initiative. In March, Africa Express took place in Bush Wood, where people enjoyed a diverse range of music from artists including Damon Albarn, and a spectacular May Day Fayre took place on Chingford Plain on 4 May.

Open Air Theatre returns to Wanstead Park We do hope you were able to join us for the fabulous Open Air Theatre season in Wanstead Park last summer, where we enjoyed The Pirates of Penzance and The Adventures of Doctor Dolittle performed by renowned touring theatre company, Illyria. We are delighted to announce that Illyria will once again return to Epping Forest to entertain local audiences with a super programme lined up. This year, Shakespeare’s The Tempest* will be performed on Friday 9 August at 7pm (gates open at 6pm) and the family show (although children are also welcome at The Tempest) will be Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves on Wednesday 28 August at 4pm (gates open at 3pm). How to buy Tickets for both performances can be purchased at eppingforest.eventbrite.com or 020 7332 1911. Adult tickets are £14.95, child tickets (age 2–16) are £8.95 and a family ticket can be purchased for just £40 (suitable for 2 adults and 2 children). We hope that you will continue to support local Open Air Theatre in this unique and stunning Epping Forest location and join us in Wanstead Park this summer. Please do book your tickets early to avoid disappointment, and support Open Air Theatre in your neck of the woods.

We are looking forward to a sensational series of cultural events taking place throughout Epping Forest for the rest of this year of cultural celebration. This summer you can access two very special artworks at Epping Forest’s flagship Visitor Centre in Chingford. Ways of Seeing is a project which is bringing rarely-seen treasures from the Government Art collection to the local area, and here at Epping Forest we are fortunate to have on loan Epping Forest by Sir Jacob Epstein (Epstein lived in Loughton for many years and produced numerous Epping Forest paintings) as well as Grim’s Ditch by Clare Woods, a painting based on an ancient earthwork that runs across three counties in England. The artwork will be on display until 31 August. Marking the summer solstice on 20 June, a myriad of voices from across London will take over Chingford Plain for The Dark Outside, a 24-hour radio station broadcast from Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge. The Dark Outside is happening as part of a whole season of work dedicated to exploring Waltham Forest’s relationship to Epping Forest, The People’s Forest. All are invited to submit recordings of any type to create 24 hours of broadcast sound. There are more great events taking place in the autumn, including the Echoes of Epping Forest project by our artist-in-residence, Ellie Wilson. P4. We look forward to welcoming the first ever London Borough of Culture summer events to London’s ancient woodland this summer. To stay up to date with all the latest news and event information, visit www.wfculture19.co.uk

*As it will be dark at departure time, please bring a torch. Summer 2019 Forest Focus 15


Caring for the Forest’s swans

Gill Walker, Swan Sanctuary Volunteer, gives an insight into some of the invaluable work carried out by The Swan Sanctuary and its team of dedicated volunteers who help monitor and care for the Forest’s swans. We are fortunate that many Forest lakes and ponds are graced with swans. These birds are fiercely territorial and once a pair make a lake their home, they will chase off all other swans that try to move in. Their aim is to nest and raise a family successfully, and once their cygnets are capable of independence, they are chased off in preparation for the next breeding season. This can be distressing to witness and is a very confusing time for the cygnets, who until this point have enjoyed full 16 Forest Focus Summer 2019

protection and usually have known no other water than their birthplace. They have to fly off with no idea where they are going and often without the stamina for sustained flight. Hopefully they will find their way to a safe place such as Hollow Ponds. This lake is large and difficult for one pair to hold as a territory, so a flock of juvenile and non-breeding swans has gathered there. Swan Sanctuary volunteers have been active in Epping Forest for many years and work hard to

maintain the good health of Forest swans. At the end of December the cob (the male swan) from the Heronry in Wanstead Park was admitted to the Sanctuary as he had a large lump on his foot. This was removed under full anaesthesia and fortunately wasn’t sinister. On 18 January he was reunited with his mate and adult cygnet. He called for her as we walked him to the lake and it was a spectacular reunion. He now has a visible flap of scar tissue as the very thick skin on swan’s


feet rarely stitches well and does not regain its original shape. However, he will be much more comfortable without the lump. On Highams Park Lake it’s a much sadder story. On 20 December the pen (the female swan) was found floating dead on the water. With assistance from Forest Keepers, as a boat was required, the body was retrieved and taken to the sanctuary for X-ray and physical examination. Unfortunately, the cause of death was not established. As a Registered Charity depending solely on public donations and corporate sponsorship, the Sanctuary cannot afford to routinely undertake a full post mortem on all swan bodies recovered. Although it’s often said swans mate for life, frequently a vigorous swan with a territory will take a new mate. As the widowed cob is busy chasing off his cygnets, we take that as a sign he intends to seek a new partner. Last summer, Sanctuary volunteers were proud to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK. If you would like to know more about our work, please visit the sanctuary website www.theswansanctuary.org.uk If you are concerned about a swan whether on Forest lakes or elsewhere, please report your concern as soon as possible on 01932 240790. Gill Walker Swan Sanctuary Volunteer

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Distance Approximately 2 miles (3.2 kms) Time Approximately 1 hour Terrain Mostly grassy trails Start Horseshoe Hill, Upshire Car park Pick Hill or Fernhall Lane

A wander around Warlies Park 18 Forest Focus Summer 2019


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This circular walk explores some of the undulating parkland of Warlies Park. The Park is mainly pastoral in nature, with open grassland dotted with ancient trees, small copses and hedges. The Woodredon and Warlies Park Estate passed into the ownership of the City of London Corporation in 1986 and forms part of the Buffer Lands. 1. In 1853, Warlies Park was purchased by the Buxton family, who added various features, including Cobbin Pond. In 1921, the house and gardens were sold to Dr Barnardo’s Homes while the remainder of the Estate was retained by the Buxton family until 1974, when it and the adjoining Woodredon Estate were sold to the Greater London Council. 2. The Temple rotunda, dated 1737, forms a prominent feature in the landscape. Permissive open access on foot throughout Temple Field, allows one to enjoy the fine view from this folly’s haughty position.

3. L ooking north-east from The Temple, Queen Boadicea’s (now more commonly known as Queen Boudica) Obelisk may be seen in a nearby field. It was built in the early 18th century where legend says she committed suicide to avoid capture by the Romans. There is no evidence for this but who knows… 4. D uring the summer months, wild flowers including agrimony, cuckoo flower, ox-eye daisy, ragged robin and some cowslips may be seen in much of the Park. 5. T he blocks of woodland surrounding the Park provide wildlife links with the adjacent farmland and northern parts of Epping Forest.

6. C obbin Pond provides a valuable wildlife habitat for many species. 7. L ittle owls, jackdaws and starlings nest in many of the Park’s old trees. 8. W hile a commanding feature in this rolling landscape, Warlies House is in private ownership and converted to office suites. Between 1921 and 1978 it was a children’s home owned by Dr Barnado’s. 9. Fallow deer are a common sight in this area, often easiest to spot at dawn and dusk. To find out more about Warlies Park, see P12.

Summer 2019 Forest Focus 19


Summer events June Walk: Ploughed land and gravel diggings

Thursday 6 June 10.30am – 12.30pm Stubbles car park Epping Forest Heritage Trust event

Art exhibition: ‘Ways of Seeing’

Until Thursday 29 August (during public opening hours) Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford Sir Jacob Epstein’s Epping Forest (1933) and Clare Woods’ Grim’s Ditch (2007) are on display exclusively at Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford this summer. Come and see how these artists found inspiration in the natural world around them. ‘Ways of Seeing’ is a partnership between Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 and the Government Art Collection to create a Waltham Forest-wide gallery space using schools, leisure centres, shopping centres and even a riding school to display the work of 33 internationally famous artists in 28 venues across Chingford, Leyton, Leytonstone and Walthamstow. Free. No booking required. ‘Ways of Seeing’ is a partnership between Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 and the Government Art Collection, with support from the City of London Corporation event

Exhibition: Spirit of Epping Forest

Saturday 8 June – Sunday 7 July Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford An exhibition of paintings and drawings by local artists. Free. No booking required. City of London Corporation event

London Borough of Culture – The dark outside

Thursday 20 June Chingford Plain A myriad of voices from across London will take over Chingford Plain for The Dark Outside, a 24-hour radio station broadcast from Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge. All are invited to submit recordings of any type to create 24 hours of broadcast sound. Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 event

Walk: Midsummer evening walk

Saturday 22 June 7pm – 9pm St Thomas’ Church, Upshire Epping Forest Heritage Trust event

Suntrap Family Open Day

Saturday 29 June 11am – 3pm See P9 for further information. Suntrap Education Centre event

July Art exhibition: ‘Ways of Seeing’

Until Thursday 29 August (during public opening hours) Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford See June events for more information

Art workshop series: Start painting the Forest

Saturdays 6, 13 and 20 July 10.30am – 1.30pm Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford A three-week watercolour and ink painting course inspired by the Forest landscape and led by Lisa Ivory, a practising artist and experienced art lecturer. This friendly course will help you learn to look and describe what you see with sensitivity and energy, and to develop tone, colour and texture to maximise your painting potential. £108 for three sessions: Booking required. Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service Centres or call 020 8496 2974 / 020 8496 1061. Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service event

Copped Hall music for a summer’s day Saturday 6 July Copped Hall Trust event

Walk: Insects and summer flowers at Swaines Green

Sunday 7 July 11am – 1pm Entrance off Coronation Hill Epping Forest Heritage Trust event

20 Forest Focus Summer 2019


Further information 020 7332 1911 cityoflondon.gov.uk/ eppingforestevents Book Epping Forest events through Eventbrite www. eppingforest.eventbrite.com

Copped Hall garden afternoon Sunday 7 July Copped Hall Trust event

Centenary celebration of King Carp

Monday 8 July 2pm–4 pm Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford A special Monday afternoon opening to show off our museum collection’s famous prize King Carp, as caught by J.T. Fisher, 8 July 1919. Drop in for tea, selfies and chat about angling in Epping Forest. Free event. Booking available. City of London Corporation event

Exhibition: Louise Weir Sunday 14 July – Sunday 1 September Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford Paintings, illustrations and sketchbooks on show with weekend drawing workshops. Please see website for dates of workshops. Free. No booking required. City of London Corporation event

Taster session: Woodland creatures craft activity

Tuesday 16 July 1.30pm – 3.30pm Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford Join Helen Westerby, experienced clothes designer and lecturer, to make nostalgic woodland creature pompoms. They make great little bag charms, keyrings or hanging garlands for children’s rooms. No booking required. Free course. Adults 19 years+. Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service in partnership with the City of London Corporation.

Family Forest discovery activities Saturday 20 July 11am – 2pm Epping Forest Visitor Centre at High Beach. Epping Forest Heritage Trust event

Copped Hall – Extended monthly guided tour Sunday 21 July Copped Hall Trust event

Copped Hall – Craig Ogden – guitarist Saturday 27 July Copped Hall Trust event

August Art exhibition: ‘Ways of Seeing’

Until Thursday 29 August (during public opening hours) Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford See June events for more information.

Walk: Exploring Wintry Wood

Sunday 4 August 10.30am – 12.30pm Woodyard car park Epping Forest Heritage Trust event

Copped Hall garden afternoon Sunday 4 August Copped Hall Trust event

Family activity: Woodland survivors

Tuesday 6 August 10am – 12 noon Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford Shelter building and woodland crafts. Aimed at 7–11 year olds. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Booking required. Cost £3 per child and £1 per adult. City of London Corporation event

Family activity: Tudor arts and crafts

Friday 9 August 10am – 12 noon Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford Tudor arts and crafts. Aimed at 7–11 year olds. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Booking required. Cost £3 per child and £1 per adult. City of London Corporation event

Our Forest partners Copped Hall Trust www.coppedhalltrust.org.uk Epping Forest Conservation Volunteers www.efcv.co.uk Friends of Wanstead Parklands www.wansteadpark.org.uk Parkrun www.parkrun.org.uk Suntrap Education Centre www.suntrapcentre.co.uk Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 www.wfculture19.co.uk Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service www.walthamforest.gov.uk

Summer 2019 Forest Focus 21


Open Air Theatre – Shakespeare’s The Tempest performed by Illyria Friday 9 August gates open at 6pm, performance at 7pm The Temple enclosure See P15 for further information. Booking required: Adult: £14.95, child (2–16): £8.95, family (2 adults and 2 children): £40. City of London Corporation event

Family activity: Mini beast hunt and pond dipping

Tuesday 13 August 10am – 12 noon Connaught Water car park Mini beast hunt and pond dipping. Aimed at 7–11 year olds. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Booking required. Cost £3 per child and £1 per adult. City of London Corporation event

Family activity: Eco-art

Friday 16 August 10am – 12 noon Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford Clay animals, foot prints and tree faces. Aimed at 7–11 year olds. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Booking required. Cost £3 per child and £1 per adult. City of London Corporation event

Copped Hall – Jazz Saturday 17 August Copped Hall Trust event

Copped Hall – Monthly guided tour Sunday 18 August Copped Hall Trust event

Family activity: Eco-art

Tuesday 20 August 10am – 12 noon Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford Clay animals, foot prints and tree faces. Aimed at 7–11 year olds. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Booking required. Cost £3 per child and £1 per adult. City of London Corporation event

Family art workshop: ‘Ways of Seeing’

Wednesday 21 August 2pm – 4pm Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford See, sense and create: adults and children are invited to make their own mark inspired by the two paintings in our summer exhibition: Sir Jacob Epstein’s Epping Forest (1933) and Clare Woods’ Grim’s Ditch (2007). All art materials provided for families to make art together. Free. No booking required. City of London Corporation event: Ways of Seeing is a partnership between Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 and the Government Art Collection.

Family activity: Woodland survivors

Friday 23 August 10am – 12 noon Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford Shelter building and woodland crafts. Aimed at 7–11 year olds. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Booking required. Cost £3 per child and £1 per adult. City of London Corporation event

Copped Hall – Open day Sunday 25 August Copped Hall Trust event

22 Forest Focus Summer 2019

Family activity: Tudor arts and crafts

Tuesday 27 August 10am – 12 noon Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford Tudor arts and crafts. Aimed at 7–11 year olds. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Booking required. Cost £3 per child and £1 per adult. City of London Corporation event

Open Air Theatre – Ali Baba and the forty thieves performed by Illyria

Wednesday 28 August, gates open at 3pm, performance at 4pm The Temple enclosure See P15 for further information. Booking required. Adult: £14.95, Child (2–16): £8.95, Family (2A+2C): £40 City of London Corporation event

Family art workshop: ‘Ways of Seeing’

Wednesday 28 August 2pm – 4pm Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford Repeat of Wednesday 21 August event

Family activity: Mini beast hunt and pond dipping

Friday 30 August 10am – 12 noon Connaught Water car park Mini beast hunt and pond dipping. Aimed at 7–11 year olds. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Booking required. Cost £3 per child and £1 per adult. City of London Corporation event


The Temple, Wanstead Park

Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 July: The Hats are back! Experience the Wanstead history timeline on your head. From a Roman helmet to an Edwardian top hat, our replica hats provide photo-opportunities and fun for all the family.

The Temple will open every weekend, 12 noon to 5pm during the school summer holidays, from Saturday 27 July to Sunday 1 September and Bank Holiday Monday 26 August.

Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 August: Get building We’ll have wooden building bricks and railway set available for you to build a Palladian mansion as Richard Child did in the 1720s or design your Victorian railway to bring the modern age of steam to Wanstead with the introduction of the railway in 1856.

Summer days are here again

As well as being able to browse inside The Temple, we will be putting out a different family play box of activities connected with the history of Wanstead Park. Wanstead Park is buzzing with activity As well as two Open Air Theatre productions, look out for the many other events being held in and around the Park this summer.

Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 August: Rich Tudor children Discover the names of the 15 children of the mid-16th century owner of Wanstead, Sir Richard Rich (1496–1567) and experience how they may have whiled away a summer afternoon Tudor-style. Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 August: The Child children Sir Josiah Child (1630–1699) was the seriously successful international East India merchant and entrepreneur who bought the Wanstead estate in 1673. Josiah had eight children including Richard Child who rebuilt Wanstead House in the grandest style in the 1720s. What sort of playthings from the ends of the earth might the Child children have enjoyed? Saturday 24, Sunday 25 and Monday 26 August: The Pole-TylneyLong-Wellesley children Catherine (1789–1825) and William (1788–1857) bequeathed their children a very, very long surname and a ruined estate. But before all went to rack and ruin in the 1820s, what Regency toys might their three children have been bought? Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September: A Victorian Keeper’s son Robert Puffett (1852–1916) was employed as a Keeper at Wanstead Park from 1882. His son Robert was born in 1873. What new and ‘modern’ toys might the young Robert have played with when Victoria was Queen and Empress? These events are free, and no booking is required.

Epping Forest Conservation Volunteers www.efcv.co.uk Epping Forest Conservation Volunteers are a volunteer group actively involved in the conservation and management of Epping Forest. The group undertake tasks on most Sundays as well as a monthly Tuesday task. Working at your own pace it is an opportunity to meet likeminded people, who enjoy the open air and care for the beauty and variety of Epping Forest.

Parkrun www.parkrun.org.uk Wanstead Flats parkrun is a free weekly 5km event for runners of all standards, which takes place every Saturday at 9am at Wanstead Flats. It is not a race but a 5k timed run. Are you looking for exhibition space? Exhibition space available at Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford. Please contact us for further information.

Call for entries Winter Woods; a wintry themed exhibition November 2019 – January 2020 To take part in this year’s open exhibition, Winter Woods, please pick up an application form from Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford or download via www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/ eppingforest.

Field Studies Council www.field-studies-council.org Friends of Wanstead Parklands www.wansteadpark.org.uk The Field Studies Council in partnership with the Friends of Wanstead Parklands will be organising a host of activities in and around Wanstead Park. P5.

Summer 2019 Forest Focus 23


Visit us Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford Rangers Road, Chingford, E4 7QH Tel 020 7332 1911 Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am–5pm Open Bank Holidays (except Christmas Day)

The Temple Wanstead Park, E11 2LT Tel 020 7332 1911 See website for opening times. The Temple, a Grade II listed building, dates from the 1760s and is a survival from the heyday of Wanstead Park.

Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford, with its displays and regularly changing exhibitions, is the perfect place to start your exploration of Epping Forest.

Epping Forest Visitor Centre at High Beach

Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge

Tel 020 7332 1911 (Monday to Wednesday)

Rangers Road, Chingford, E4 7QH Tel 020 7332 1911

Open Thursday to Sunday and Bank Holidays (except Christmas Day) November to March 10am–3pm

Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am–5pm* Open Bank Holidays (except Christmas Day) The Hunting Lodge is a Grade II* listed building built for Henry VIII in 1543 and is an amazing survival of an intact Tudor hunt standing.

High Beach, IG10 4AE Tel 020 8508 0028 (during opening hours)

Snuggled in the heart of the Forest, the Centre is located adjacent to the High Beach easy access path. The Centre is run by Epping Forest Heritage Trust.

* Subject to closure for private hire or school visits. Please check website.

Contact us Epping Forest Headquarters, The Warren, Loughton, Essex IG10 4RW Email: epping.forest@ cityoflondon.gov.uk Tel 020 8532 1010 (24hrs)

@COLEppingForest Epping Forest City of London coleppingforest www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/ eppingforest

Registered Charity 232 990