spring 07 - FEF Spring 07.p65 by dfsiopmhy6


The Friends
of Epping
Forest                                The Friends is a Registered Charity No: 299970, registered with The Civic Trust

FofEF web-site - www.friendsofeppingforest.org.uk                                                                            SPRING 2007

Dear Friend,
Right at the end of January, an early
morning telephone call alerted us to the
fact that something odd had happened
at High Beech! Despite the weather
being warmer than any time during the
last zillion years the Forest beyond
Carl’s tea hut was covered in a heavy
frost! On the following Sunday, we
visited High Beech to observe this
phenomenon. As may be seen from
these photos, the juxtaposition of the
veritable winter wonderland and tea and
cake consumers dressed for summer
outside Carl’s hut bathed in sunshine
is something to behold.
    Apparently, the ‘white stuff’ was
distributed by a TV/film company who
wanted to transform the area so as to
make a documentary about Essex
Lads, presumably in the army, called
‘Foot Soldiers’. There were quite a few
people about, gazing disbelievingly at                                                     Artificial Snow at High Beech
the scene and taking photos, it was all                             However, less than a week later along came the real thing and the Forest was
very bizarre.                                                   covered in 5-6 inches of the deepest snow we’ve seen for years. The toboggans
                                                                and tin trays came out from lofts and under stairs and spots like Pole Hill were
                                                                soon echoing to the shouts and laughter of children – who don’t see snow very
                                                                often these days – as they careered down the slopes.
                 In this issue

Dear Friend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Chingford Golf Course . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
The Natural Aspect - Our Future Forest? 3
The East of England Plan and other
Threats - to the Green Belt in Particular 4
Lodge Road Car Park . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
The Maples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Connaught Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Charles (Jim) Gimson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
The Forest Supper Nov 2006 . . . . . . . . 7
Seeking a Treasurer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
The BNA Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Delivering the Newsletter . . . . . . . . . . . 8
A Navel Exercise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Wanstead Park Revealed . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Walks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Dates for your Diary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
MIinutes of the 2006 AGM . . . . . . . . . . 14                                          Carl’s Tea Hut, the same day

            Please send all letters to the Secretary and Editor: Mrs P Bitten, 9 Frederica Road, Chingford, E4 7AL
              ‘Views expressed by contributors to this Newsletter are not necessarily those of the Committee of the
          Friends of Epping Forest. The Friends is a Registered Charity. No: 299970 Registered with The Civic Trust
                                                             Page 1
CHINGFORD GOLF                                  ago, as we sloshed through the wet
                                                meadows, once mown and manicured
                                                                                              exasperating, and fruitless. But
                                                                                              unnoticed, upon a nearby bench,
COURSE                                          now ignored and overgrown. Yet more           smoking a pipe and looking down upon
                                                or less where he said there would be,         the evening shades over the Forest, sat
We had a very satisfactory response to
                                                we found flat patches surrounded by           an old man, who finally broke his long
our request in the last newsletter for
                                                slight mounds, maybe now with an              silence with the immortal words “You
memories of the Chingford Golf Course
                                                impertinent bush growing from it. But         chaps looking for a golf ball?” You must
extending up the Warren Wood slopes.
                                                unmistakeably to the golfer’s eye, here       remember that this was the early 1950s,
One of the reasons for our request was
                                                once was a golf green.                        when politeness was expected, even
although we have documentary
                                                     Some fairways had been swallowed         under these trying (and rather obvious)
evidence for its existence up until the
                                                up, but I do remember heading downhill        circumstances. Dad made do with a
early 1950s, this had been called into
                                                towards the stream that crosses the           simple “Yes”.
question. However, our evidence has
been totally vindicated and a number            Rangers Road, and searching                       “Well, ‘bout 10 minutes ago, I saw
of members contacting us confirming             (successfully) for the 13th hole. As we       one go in that hole where the flag is”.
that they remembered it well – many             sheltered under his brolly, during a sharp    Exasperation melted into joy and
thanks to them. In fact, it is still possible   shower (a golf brolly, of course) he told     disbelief: there indeed was my father’s
to discern some of the physical features        me how a visiting American golfer so fell     ball in the hole; his first and only, hole
of the course.                                  in love with this hole – a par 3 over trees   in one.
                                                and bushes to a hidden green – that he             If you came down the hill from the
    Former Forest resident Malcolm
                                                copied the design and recreated it on a       Royal Forest, not far behind where the
Swinfen now living in Wiltshire took the
                                                course ‘back home’.                           car park is now, you could still find the
trouble to send a longish, interesting
letter on the subject which, to offset               The old golf course meandered its        tell tale humps that encircled the 18th
some of the ‘heavy’ stuff elsewhere in          way towards the Warren Wood. Golfers          green. They are probably gone now, but
this issue, we reproduce herewith:              would have crossed the road – would           maybe not…
                                                they even have bothered looking left             My dad died in 1995, and the Forest
    Back in the 1970s and 1980s,
                                                and right? Was the road even tarmaced         has long reclaimed those golf holes, yet
I played many rounds at the Royal
                                                back then? [Yes. Ed.] I recall the uphill     that walk in the rain, and his wonderful
Epping Golf Course, joining what
                                                hole, turned sharply left to a green          storey of the old man and the hole in
I called ‘the Red Army’ at the first tee,
                                                nestling beneath the trees; parallel to       one will live on, etched in my memory
all swishing their drivers and dreaming
                                                it, the next hole came tumbling easily        and in my heart forever.
of the perfect round. Perhaps most of
                                                down the slope, but with a mischief that
these rounds were with my father,                                                                                  Malcolm Swinfen
                                                good courses always achieve, the
Bunny Swinfen (some may recall the
                                                golfer would have suddenly found              Editor’s Note – quite a few members
name from his long association with the
                                                several bushes and a flowing stream –         contacted us about the old golf course,
Chingford Cricket Club).
                                                the Ching? – between him and the              including Dennis Chasney who
    I was intrigued when, one day, he told      secluded green.                               remembers playing the course, and Ian
me that the current course is in fact a                                                       Scoones…
                                                     I know there was an 180 yard hole
redesigned version of the original, that
                                                behind the Royal Forest Hotel. It was            “ I lived in Buckhurst Hill and often
years ago it spread wide, with 9 holes
                                                the 17th, and I know because my father        walked to Connaught Water in the
West, but also 9 East of Bury Road.
                                                had a special reason for remembering          1950s. My father led us along the
It was however, taking up too much room,
                                                it, and in great detail, as we walked from    bottom of Warren Hill and we boys went
it seems. Too many visitors… Golf was
                                                tee to green, he told me the following        under the bridge, wading in the Ching
to be confined to the West of the Road.
                                                story. Facing a big red setting               towards Connaught Water.
   It wasn’t long before a wet weekend          September sun, he hit what he said felt
came: too wet to play; we donned our                                                               On the right, at the bottom of Warren
                                                like a good, 3 wood shot. The ball
wellies to retrace the route of the old                                                       Hill was at least one golf green with flag
                                                instantly vanished into the blinding
course, and see if we could discover if                                                       and little metal box and I believe there
                                                glare, so he and his playing partner
any sign remained of the forgotten 9                                                          was another green nearby where we
                                                trudged towards the green, literally in
holes across the plain.                                                                       often saw golfers”.
                                                blind hope. George’s ball, they found
   Mercifully, time has not erased all          immediately, but of Dad’s ball there was                                 Ian Scoones
my memories of this day; over 30 years          no sign, and their search was long,

                                                                                                                      Warren Hill

                    Royal Forest Hotel

                             Part of Royal Epping Forest Golf Club as laid out in 1893, drawn by S Barry
Page 2                                                                           Friends of Epping Forest Newsletter Spring 2007
THE NATURAL ASPECT -                          valued for the provision of wood for
                                              cooking and warmth. But, there is little
                                                                                               “… this wild and beautiful wood is
                                                                                           worthy of exploration by the visitor…”
OUR FUTURE FOREST?                            evidence that many folk fought                   This was said in spite of the
                                              specifically to preserve their equally       pollarded thickets of Forest in the
Currently there is much talk and
                                              ancient right to graze cattle.               1880’s being less attractive than today
concern about the future of the Forest,
how far it is accessible or not, cattle          So why are grazing rights frequently      – e.g. Buxton again: “ … the unsparing
grazing, fencing and the extent of            mentioned as vital in the fight for the      pollarding to which nearly the whole of
‘wood-pasture’ and how this might             Forest? They were important for legal        this otherwise beautiful wood was
affect the Forest.                            reasons. Lopping Rights applied to           formerly subjected, and which gives it
                                              each Forest Manor individually. To have      the effect of having been mown by a
   It is interesting therefore, to read the
                                              fought to defend them would have             scythe.”
words of Edward North Buxton (one of
                                              required many individual legal cases             However, since 1878 we have come
the Conservator’s first Verderers) and
                                              against each Lord of the Manor.              to realise the value of preserving, for
what he says about the Forest in 1886
when writing in his famous guide book.             However, Grazing Rights, it was         ecological and historic reasons, the
                                              argued – and finally proved – covered        ancient pollards. As they age – with their
    He says, when advocating walks
                                              all the Forest Manors collectively … and     characteristic ‘Epping Forest’ look –
through the Bury Wood and Fairmead
                                              thus could be argued and fought for as       they are now valued as part of the
Thicket northwards from Chingford Plain:
                                                                   one ‘Right’ affect-     Forest, thus they have an amenity
                                                                   ing all the Forest.     value, part of the ‘natural aspect’. And
                                                                   In other words the      now, of course, as some die they need
                                                                   change          from    to be replaced by some new ‘maiden’
                                                                   battling to save        pollards to ensure continuity.
                                                                   ‘lopping rights’ to        So what am I saying?
                                                                   arguing           for
                                                                   ‘grazing rights’ was         Today it is claimed by some that the
                                                                   a legal tactic!         woodland has become overgrown and
                                                                                           difficult to access, that cattle grazing will
                                                                        Why, in the        open it up for greater public access
                                                                     1870’s, was the       (it did not happen in the 1880’s or the
                                                                     Corporation of        1960-70s). But, do we want a more
                                                                     London so con-        open forest that is largely cleared of
                                                                     cerned to save        understorey and undergrowth to create
                                                                     Epping Forest?        ‘wood pasture’? Is it necessary for cattle
              Fairmead Thicket: May 1976:                             They had a           to go into the woodland? – there’s little
     Mentioned by Buxton as wild and beautiful in 1886             farm at Alders-         for them to eat there. Is it difficult for
                                                                   brook, now the City     the public to gain access to the
     “…. to the left of this (Chingford       of London Cemetery, and thus had             woodland?
Plain) lies the great mass of the Forest,     grazing rights. But they were not con-          What should we be asking about
which extends from here nearly to             cerned as farmers or graziers!               ‘Our Future Forest’?
Epping in a broad belt, 4 miles long,         Indeed a few years after becoming
and comprises in one block about 4000         responsible for the Forest’s manage-             The long history and exploitation of
acres, nearly the whole of which is           ment they restricted grazing.                the Forest before the 19th century does
covered in a thicket, more or less                                                         not tell us a lot about its appearance at
                                                 Why did they value the Forest so?         different times and what kind of forest
dense, of oak, beech, hornbeam, crab,
maple, thorn, birch and holly. The whole          They were concerned that the             it was. We know it was surrounded by
of this wild and beautiful wood is worthy     Forest should be preserved as an             a very much smaller population in tiny
of exploration by the visitor…”               “unenclosed open space for the               isolated hamlets … and so we can only
                                              recreation and enjoyment” of the people      speculate!
    That paragraph tells us quite a lot.      of London.
Many other Victorian writers on Epping
Forest also mention the dense thickets            And it seems,
of pollarded woodland. These must, at         they were also
times, when freshly pollarded, have           concerned to pro-
appeared somewhat unsightly. Yet              tect what they
those writers still extolled the beauty       called “the Natural
and wildness of the Forest’s wooded           Aspect” of the For-
landscape that Buxton urges the visitor       est. Remember
to explore.                                   what was being
                                              said at the time
    Although the woodland may have            about the beauty,
been denser than it is today, it was still    and wildness of
greatly valued for its wild beauty. Why       the     woodland
did those Victorians wish to preserve the     landscape. A land-
Forest. Nowadays, there seems to be           scape of trees! As
confusion about what their reasons were!      Buxton said about
    Earlier, led by Willingale, the loppers   the densest block
had certainly fought for their lopping        of the Forest at the                  Cuckoo Pits area, April 2005:
rights; rights that were centuries old and    time:                        after clearance work to create ‘Wood Pasture’

Friends of Epping Forest Newsletter Spring 2007                                                                               Page 3
    It seems that over 150 years ago
much of it was much denser than it is
                                                   THE EAST OF ENGLAND PLAN AND OTHER
now and the cattle grazed the grassy             THREATS - TO THE GREEN BELT IN PARTICULAR
plains, especially those near the
habitations on the Forest edges,
because most needed milking each               When the East of England Plan was            overlapping it) there should be a full
day. The dense woodlands, highly               issued by the East of England Regional       review of the strategy relating to the
valued as a source of fuel, were               Assembly in December 2004 it set out         2011-2031 period. There seems little
regularly harvested and thus were not          the way the 478,000 housing units that       doubt that, if insufficient opposition is
like the attractive high woodland that         the Deputy Prime Minister had decreed        mobilised, this review will call for
we know and can walk through today,            to be built in the Region up to 2021,        increased numbers of housing
   Knowledge of the past forest can            should be distributed to the constituent     encroachments on the Green Belt and
explain the forest we have today.              districts. This is only 14 years off and     remaining countryside.
                                               some of our readers may still be                 The document frequently mentions
   It is, and always has been, a
                                               around!                                      the housing needs of the Region.
constantly changing forest and will
continue to change – so we must                    After a period of public consultation    However there is little doubt that this
consider what kind of forest we wish it        – in which the Friends participated          need could be easily accommodated by
to be in the future. How it should be          (to no discernable effect) – the             a long way short of half-a-million plus
managed.                                       proposals were considered at an              homes. In fact the needs derive from
     In very general terms I imagine           Examination - in - Public at which some      inward migration to the Region, which
most people who use it wish to see the         interested parties were allowed to make      if current trends continue stems 40%
                                               their views known. The Friends were          from London, 20% from overseas and
Forest ( remain? ) as diverse woodland
with many forms of landscape mostly            not invited to appear before the Panel       40% from other parts of the UK.
containing trees – irrespective of what        nor was the City Corporation!                    The housing allocation for Harlow
it might have been in the past.                   The Panel made its comments on            is 16,000 including 10,000 to the north
                                               the East of England Plan in Autumn           (with the caveat that the re-jigged G.B.
   I believe this must be achieved
                                               2006 and the Parliamentary Under             boundaries should provide for a
cautiously and carefully and the results
of management constantly assessed              Secretary of State for Communities and       significantly longer number). The
                                               Local Government (who had meantime           allocation for Epping Forest District
and reassessed. We should perhaps
                                               taken on the Office of the Deputy Prime      is 3,500.
recognise that it can be ‘over-
managed’.                                      Ministers' role) published in December           The proposal in the original East of
                                               2006, the proposed changes to the Plan.      England Plan that North Weald
    But, above all we must always
                                                   This comes in the form of a 267-         Aerodrome should be covered in homes
remember, Epping Forest is essentially
                                               page document together with two              and businesses has been dropped
an ‘amenity forest’, a forest enjoyed for
many appropriate recreational reasons          annexes, these being the Sustainable         partly on the grounds that this would
                                               Appraisal of the Proposals and the           cause increased congestion on the
– as the Corporation of London first
                                               Habitats Directive Assessments; they         M25! What nearly 20,000 homes being
                                               run to 28 and around 100 pages               built in Harlow and the rest of Epping
    Enjoyed for its wildness, its quiet        respectively. There will be a short period   Forest District will do for congestion on
tranquillity, as a place to exercise or        of public consultation, to which the         the M25 is not touched upon!
relax, enjoyed for its diverse beauty, its     Friends will contribute, in respect of the       Clearly the Green Belt around Harlow
wildlife, its history, this, and much more     matters discussed before the final
for which there are no words.                                                               will be substantially redrawn. Epping
                                               version is published.                        Forest District is virtually all Green Belt
   Furthermore, it is uniquely near to             In the document the Secretary of         outside the urban area. It is difficult to
London’s 10 million people.                    State helpfully takes the opportunity of     envisage where 3,500 houses will go up
   Finally, I hope Forest Verderer Peter       increasing the number of new homes           to 2021 without considerable damage to
Adams will not mind if I quote what he         to be built in the Region up to 2021, to     the Green Belt.
recently wrote in the local Guardian           508,000 and indicates that this should           The Government is on record many
newspaper when referring to Forest             be regarded as a minimum and that            times saying that the M.G.B. will be
management. He said:                           individual authorities should seek to        preserved and indeed that is said in the
                                               exceed their allocations.                    document under discussion. However
    “… however, one must appreciate
that the Forest is a special place and            At Policy SS7 it is indicated that 'the   the same document has indicated that
does not fit any one hole. The Forest is       broad extent of Green Belts in the           in order to accommodate massive
not a Country Park and, despite the huge       Region is appropriate and will be            housing and other development Green
importance of its natural history, it is not   maintained'. However, strategic reviews      Belt boundaries will need to be redrawn!
a Nature Reserve. Neither should we            of the Green Belt boundaries are             Although areas of countryside farther
consider it a collection of golf courses,      needed in various places including           out may be re-classified as Green Belt
football pitches, woodland, etc. The           Harlow, East Herts and Epping Forest         that is meaningless and indicates a
whole is very much more important than         District. When these boundaries are          temporary protection until the next bout
the sum of the various parts”.                 being reviewed they should be set in         of development.
                                               such a way as to cater for development           The section covering the Green Belt
   Long may it continue to be so!              needs up to 2031. Furthermore it is          in the document is full of words and
                                 Ken Hoy       envisaged that, starting in 2007 viz         phrases indicative of weakening
                                               immediately on completion of the             protection for these vital areas.
                                               current exercise (or perhaps even

Page 4                                                                          Friends of Epping Forest Newsletter Spring 2007
At 3.29 the document declares that:        landscape terms and the needs of                The Report also makes the very
                                           residents for recreation and access are     strange, and rather alarming proposal
   1. Tightly drawn Green Belt             taken into account.                         to allow 'Goodwill Payments' to be made
      boundaries, while assisting                                                      to enable developments to occur even
      urban concentration, have            Beware the Green Arc bearing gifts!         though these would be unwelcome to
      made it increasingly difficult to       There is worrying lack of clarity in     some members of the community.
      meet development needs,              the document about how far these
      particularly for housing,                                                            The London Green Belt Council, of
                                           various weasel statements can or will
      resulting in greater disposal of                                                 which we are members, have made the
                                           be applied to the Green Belt in general
      development and thereby                                                          strongest possible detailed and
                                           and this is where other straws-in-the-
      contributing to sustainable                                                      insightful comments on the Report to the
                                           wind come in!
      traffic patterns.                                                                two Ministers concerned.
                                              The Chancellor (next P.M.?) and the
                                                                                           All this development and the
   2. The scale of the Regions             deputy P.M. commissioned a report
                                                                                       weakening of the Green belt protection
      housing needs and the aim to         from Kate Barker on Land-use Planning
                                                                                       is bound to have adverse effects on
      achieve a better balance             as an economic study. Its terms of
                                                                                       Epping Forest in terms of pollution,
      between supply and demand in         reference being to consider how
                                                                                       general disturbance and increased
      all areas, including in regard to    planning policy and procedures can
                                                                                       traffic, including road kill!
      the London Arc where demand          better deliver economic growth and
      is particularly strong and           prosperity… In particular to assess: -          In a letter accompanying the
      affordability problems                                                           Proposed Changes to the East of
                                              1. Ways of further improving the         England Plan, Meg Munn the
      particularly acute.
                                                 efficiency and speed of the           Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
    The reviews it declares will results         system.                               for    Communities         and     Local
in significant change locally but can be                                               Government, declares that the
made without evading the principles           2. Ways of increasing the flexibil-      Sustainability Appraisal concludes that
and overall eroding of the Green Belt.           ity, transparency and predict-        the Proposal Changes are in
                                                 ability that enterprise requires.     accordance with the principles of
Policy SS8 Land in the Urban Fringe                                                    sustainable development and that the
   This section has the statement that        3. The relationship between
                                                 planning and productivity.            additional growth and changes to
Local Authorities should work with                                                     distribution do not give rise to adverse
developers and other agencies to                                                       environmental impacts.
                                              4. The relationship between
secure the enhancement, effective
                                                 economic and other sustain-               In fact my reading of the Sustainability
management and appropriate use of
                                                 able development goals.               Appraisal is that it concludes that the
land in the urban fringe through
formulating and implementing                   While the Report recognises the         proposed changes are not likely to lead
strategies for urban fringe areas          vital contribution Green Belt policy has    to any additional significant sustainability
working across administrative              made to English Planning and that is        impacts beyond those already identified
boundaries where appropriate.              has an important future, it seriously       in the original Plan.
                                           undervalues the environmental aspects           This is rather like saying to someone
   Local Development Documents (the
                                           of the policy. In particular it seeks to    suffering from high blood pressure and
successor to the Local Development
                                           make a distinction between the              clogged arteries you can eat some
Plan) should:
                                           landscape qualities of land in the Green    additional fatty fry-ups beyond the usual
   1. Ensure that new development          Belt in terms of its availability for       because that won't make you much
      in or near the urban fringe          building development.                       worse!
      contributes to enhancing its             Developers and some professional                                     Harry Bitten
      character and appearance and         bodies, have frequently, over the years,
      its recreational and biodiversity    sought to promote the message that
      value.                               'poorer' quality land in the Green Belt     LODGE ROAD CAR
                                           should be developed, so slackening the
   2. Seek to provide networks of          tight bands of the boundaries (see          PARK
      accessible green space linking       above), and Kate Barker seems to have       This most northerly of the Forest car
      urban areas with the country-        taken this on board and makes               parks has had a somewhat chequered
      side.                                recommendations accordingly. This           history! The cowboy builder's commu-
   3. Set targets for the provision of     would merely encourage landowners in        nity regularly used it for dumping rub-
      green space for planned              the Green Belt (many big companies          bish. Eventually a height restriction bar-
      urban extensions.                    acquire such land in the hope/              rier was erected, which improved the
                                           expectations that planning constraints      situation, but at the same time a policy
    The remainder of this section car-     will be eased!) to neglect land so as to    of closing the car park during the night
ries a number of statements about the      make it more eligible for development.      was instituted. This didn't work very well
urban fringes having areas of degraded                                                 and often the gate was not opened dur-
agricultural land and fragmented own-          The Report lays emphasis both on
                                           the desirability of allowing urban          ing the day. Recently the car park has
ership, which could accommodate en-                                                    remained closed.
vironmental improvements.                  development to expand into the Green
                                           Belt in order to reduce commuting              Happily the Superintendent has just
    Moreover some parts of the urban       distances thus theoretically reducing       confirmed that it will now be open on a
fringe will be used to accommodate         pollution, and the doctrine that the        permanent basis because of its value
urban extensions. Where this happens       market, rather than local authorities and   for access to the northern Forest,
complementary strategies will ensure       public opinion, should decide changes.      Copped Hall etc. Many thanks to him!
that development will be absorbed in
                                                                                                                   Harry Bitten
Friends of Epping Forest Newsletter Spring 2007                                                                          Page 5
THE MAPLES                                                        green and are relatively attractive, but unlike the flat-headed
                                                                  bunching of the Field Maple flowers, the Sycamore flowers
There is only one member of the maple family that is native       hang in a pendulous bunch. These flowers, rich in nectar
to Epping Forest and that is the Field Maple. Others of the       are very popular with bees.
family are familiar to gardeners as ‘the Acers’ and although
other species of maple do occur in the Forest they have               Not easily mistaken for any other species, the large leaves
been introduced - long ago in the case of the Sycamore.           of the Sycamore are commonly infected by a fungus that
                                                                  causes quite large black spots, the ‘tar-spot fungus’–
    The Field Maple is said to be uncommon or rare as a full      harmless to the tree. However recently Sycamores have been
grown tree, being found more commonly growing as part of          attacked by a more serious disease – the ‘sooty-bark fungus’.
hedgerows on the Forest buffer-lands and the chalky boulder
clay areas of Essex. However there are actually many mature           It is thought the Sycamore was introduced from Europe
Field Maple trees growing in the Forest: e.g. near Connaught      around the 16th century and, as it is quite hardy, growing in
Water, in Bury Wood, Fairmead Thicket, Hill Wood and the          coastal areas and at altitude, it was often planted around
Lower Forest.                                                     exposed, hillside houses and moorland farms. In the north
                                                                  of England frequently the trees and house date each other.
                                                                      It is a tree most popular with many species of aphids
                                                                  (green-fly) and it thus becomes notorious for covering parked
                                                                  cars with the sticky ‘honey-dew’ excreted by the aphids. There
                                                                  is an attractive variety where the underside of the leaf is
                                                                  purple. Examples can be seen by the car park on the top of
                                                                  Piecing Hill, Theydon.
                                                                       'Perhaps the most famous individual Sycamore is the tree
                                                                  on the village green at Tolpuddle, Dorset. Under this tree in
                                                                  the 1830’s the local agricultural labourers met to talk – and
                                                                  in effect formed the first agricultural trades union. This was
                                                                  illegal in 1830 and six labourers were transported to Australia
                                                                  as a consequence – they of course became the ‘Tolpuddle
                                                                  Martyrs’. The Old Sycamore still stands on the green, but to
                                                                  ensure continuity our late President Lord Murray of Epping
                                                                  Forest, when he was Len Murray, General Secretary of the
           Field Maple: winged seeds & leaves                     TUC, planted a seedling of the old tree nearby. This was in
                                                                  1984 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the
                                                                  transportation of the farm labourers'.
    The leaves of the Field Maple are relatively small and
red stemmed, with five rounded lobes. In autumn it is among
the most colourful of our native trees. The leaves turn a deep
golden yellow with flushes of pinks and reds – especially
where the tree is growing in a sunny position. Even the seeds
or fruits are colourfully red and green. They are shaped like
the more familiar winged Sycamore seeds, but the ‘wings’
grow at almost 180 degrees instead of the 90 degrees as in
the case of the Sycamore’s ‘helicopter’ seeds. In spring the
leaves as they first break from the bud, have a pink tinge
and then the tree produces its quite attractive greenish yellow
   On the trunk the bark is quite characteristically fissured.
    The leaves were a popular subject with medieval carvers,
both in stone and wood on church pews etc., and the fine-
grained wood was/is also turned for use in making musical
instruments and in medieval times as drinking bowls called
                                                                               Norway Maple: flowers in April
    The Field Maple also, I suspect, has some connection
with boundary marking or a similar ancient landmark
significance – marking a route or track. There are locations
and even houses called ‘Cut Maple’ … which I assume means
‘pollarded maple’. In at least one place (marked on Chapman
& Andre’s map in 1772-4) – near Cobbins Brook, Epping
Upland – a pollarded maple still exists. However, I can find
no reference to the purpose such named sites! (Anyone have
a clue?)
     The Sycamore or Great Maple is a very common tree in
parts of the Forest that have been cleared in the recent past
(19th century) and have now become ‘secondary woodland’.
Its seedlings growing on the woodland floor, often
suppressing other growth, have strong tap roots and are
difficult to remove. The flowers are rather more yellow than
                                                                                 Norway Maple: leaves in June
Page 6                                                                      Friends of Epping Forest Newsletter Spring 2007
    The Norway maple, another
introduced species is an attractive
                                                CHARLES (JIM) GIMSON                          THE FOREST SUPPER
ornamental tree with similarly lobed                                                          NOV 2006
leaves, but the leaves are much more
                                                                                              The 2006 Forest Supper, our biggest
spikey and quite distinct. They turn a rich
                                                                                              social event of the year was its usual
golden yellow in autumn and in spring
                                                                                              success although the numbers
the flowers are bigger than our native
                                                                                              attending were a bit down on previous
Field maple and a brilliant acid yellow. A
                                                                                              years. The procedings are perhaps
few trees can be found around the edges
                                                                                              getting a bit formulaic, perhaps the
of the Forest and its verges where seeds
                                                                                              quizzes are a bit too easy/difficult! On
have escaped from gardens.
                                                                                              the other hand the caterer’s standards
   The Silver maple, is a North                                                               didn’t drop on their second year and
American species, named for the silvery                                                       everyone seemed to think that the food
undersides of the leaves. Two or three                                                        was good; didn’t they? As ever the
examples can be seen growing on the                                                           difference between financial misery
two northern islands in Connaught                                                             and happiness was the raffle. We
Water. They are most attractive in                                                            continue to be amazed and enormously
autumn when the leaves turn from                                                              grateful for the genorosity of the doners
green to pink and silver.                       We have to report the sad news of the         of raffle prizes and the similar traits of
                                                death, after a fairly brief illness           the buyers of tickets gently encouraged
    Most gardeners are familiar with the        eventually diagnosed as motor
species and varieties of garden shrubs,                                                       by Mr and Mrs Moss and their
                                                neurone disease, of our much loved            collegues. Another factor in respect of
the Acers – of Japanese origin. One or          colleague and Committee member last
two of these survive on the Forest as                                                         our financial viability was the
                                                December. Jim - he was really Charles         abstenance shown by the modest
quite old trees that are relics of Paul’s       but we always knew him as Jim - had
Nursery at High Beach … look in the                                                           amount of liquor consummed, only
                                                an interesting life. In his early days he     £412’s worth, no hangovers there,
woodland south of the grassy clearing.          lived in Spain where his father               then! This is not a challenge to drink
    Confusion may arise between the             managed a mine. He was sent home              more in 2007!
large leaved maples (Sycamore &                 to school in the Midlands and often
Norway Maple) and the unrelated Plane           went back to stay with his parents            We were glad to welcome Wendy
tree, where the tough spiked leaves             during the holidays. He studied               Mead and Christine Cohen chairman
appear to be somewhat similar. The well         engineering at University before the          and deputy chairman of Epping Forest
known, London Plane, thought to be a            War and then joined-up and spent              and Commons Commitee, Mat Roberts
hybrid between the SE European                  much time in the Orkneys.                     the newly appointed Superintendant
species and an American species, does                                                         and Mrs Roberts and Harry Cohen MP
                                                    He taught electrical engineering          and his wife Elen, The Verderers and
not grow wild but examples can be seen
                                                after the War and ended his career as         many others whose interests and or-
on the Forest near the corner of Bury
                                                a senior lecturer at University College       ganisations are associated with us.
Road and Hornbeam Lane, Chingford,
                                                London. After he retired, and the death
and another near Nursery Road and                                                             MAKE A NOTE the 2007 do is on
                                                of his wife, Jim was an active member
Smarts Lane, Loughton. This is the tree                                                       Thursday 19th November. It has to be
                                                of the National Trust, Woodford
easily recognised as the bark readily                                                         Thursday ‘cos the Hawkey Hall is
                                                Historical Society and the Friends. For
peels off leaving lighter coloured                                                            cheaper than on Friday the day we
                                                many years he was a regular walker
patches.                                                                                      need to hold it. CHEAPER!!! 2006 hire
                                                with the Forest Ramblers group from
                                  Ken Hoy       the Buckhurst Hill Community                  charge was £750.
                                                Association.                                  Donations to the Raffle
CONNAUGHT WATER                                      On becoming a member of our              Pat Rolfe, Pat Fearne, Maureen Tribe,
These fine February weekends have               committee, Jim took over responsi-            David Pigott, Irene Buchan, Hazel &
seen the car park absolutely crammed            bility for the organisation of the delivery   David Shukla, Tricia & Paul Moxey,
full and of course in the spring/summer/        of our Newsletter, which doesn't quite        Maureen & Peter Read, Olive & Jim
autumn weekends and during the week             convey the amount of work this                Fewell, Olive & Bob Lockyer, Doreen
sometimes, the car park is full and cars        involved as Peg is discovering, trying        & Harry Royds, Joan & harry Edler,
park along considerable lengths of              to organise a replacement arrange-            Cynthia & Keith Wendon, Ernest
Rangers Road. The Conservators are              ment despite the careful and detailed         Glynn, Bill Naismith, Hazel & John
seeking lottery funds for developments          lists and information that Jim                Leyton , Brenda Moses, Sheila Hobbs,
including a refreshment and information         bequeathed to us.                             Iris Sylvester, Ann Haggar, Lady
facility at Connaught Water.                                                                  Heather Murray, Stephen Murray, Stella
                                                   Jim was cremated at the City of
    Surely if this is built the car park will                                                 & Gerald Butler, Marilyn Kramer, Joyce
                                                London Cemetery on the 8 December
be totally inadequate and will have to                                                        & Ron Clayton, Mary Porter, Jo Huber,
                                                and the large number of his relatives
be substantially extended. Is this really                                                     Lynn & Peter Haseldine, Jean & Dennis
                                                and friends at the service of
what is wanted, with the attendant litter                                                     Moss, Janet Creeves, Jean Smith,
                                                Thanksgiving was testimony to the
problems? It is said that the                                                                 Joan Stowers, Pat Bishop, Hilary &
                                                regard in which he was held. He was
Conservators wish to develop facilities                                                       Ravi Kunzru, Sally Hopper, Anthea
                                                87 and will be much missed.
for the Public but in my view the Forest                                                      Levene, Nik O’Flynn, Hilda & Vera
itself is the facility that they have                                                         Anslow, Joan Humphreys, Barbara
provided, and Butlers Retreat is only                                                         Blossom, Margaret & Ronald Smith,
just up the road!                                                                             Amanda & Peter Gotham.

                             Harry Bitten
Friends of Epping Forest Newsletter Spring 2007                                                                                Page 7
SEEKING A TREASURER                         THE BRITISH                              DELIVERING THE
Anthony Sheppard, our esteemed
Treasurer for many years, has given
                                            NATURALISTS’                             NEWSLETTER
notice that he will be leaving later this   ASSOCIATION                              Following the sad death of Jim Gimson
year, due to increasingly demands from                                               we have had to make new arrangements
his new role as Chairman of the Friends     Annual Conference 19th May 2007          for the delivery of the Newsletter.
of the Royal Academy of Music. Lots of      “Urban Enveloped Historic Habitat:       Accordingly I wrote to the 50 members
thanks are due and more about his           Epping Forest” 19th May 2007 Forest      who delivered the Newsletter for Jim and
plans later, but it means we are now        School, College Place, Snaresbrook.      asked for volunteers to continue his good
looking for a new Treasurer to join our       Guest of Honour & Recipient of The     work and we are lucky that Hilary Kunzru
committee!                                  BNA Peter Scott Memorial Award Sir       of Woodford Green has come forward
   Some financial acumen is needed,         David Attenborough.                      to do this. Out of the 1600 Newsletters,
along with a chance to join in the full                                              all but 480 are delivered by hand, saving
                                               Lectures, Field Workshops on          the Friends a very considerable amount
work of the committee.                      historic trees, ladybirds, hedges,       of money.
  If you are interested, please give        spiders, wild flowering plants, small
                                                                                     The distribution will now be done as
Ken a ring.                                 mammal trapping, owl pellets etc.
                                            Booking/Information: info@bna-
                                            naturalists.org                          1. A’ second tier’ group of members
                                                                                          will assemble at Hilary’s directly
                                                                                          the Newsletter is printed, to ‘stuff’
                                                                                          them into envelopes.
                                                                                     2. That ‘second tier’ group including

          A NAVEL
                                                                                          some who will not have been
                                                                                          involved in the stuffing, will take/
                                                                                          collect bundles of Newsletters and

         EXERCISE                                                                    3. Arrange for those bundles to be
                                                                                          distributed to those ‘front line
                                                                                          troops’ who deliver directly to
                                                                                          members’ addresses.
  Our Committee recently thought we            5. Do you disagree with               We are very grateful to all those
  should be a little introspective…we             anything we do or say?             involved in this rather complex
  did an internal survey of what we                                                  operation and hope it all works out!
  thought of ourselves and our                 6. What about the Newsletter.
  performance. Having found that                  How would you like it                   Incidentally we have discovered 5
  some of the results were at least               changed?                           ‘rounds’ without a deliverer!
  ‘interesting’, we wondered whether                                                 1. The Hatch, Chingford covering
                                               7. How can we recruit more                 The Bramblings, Balliol Ave,
  we are the best judges of our
                                                  members, and younger                    Manor Way and Simmons Lane.
  successes and failures. So, we are
                                                  members – we are all
  inviting you, the membership, to tell                                              2. North Chingford area near the Bull
                                                  getting older!
  us what you think!                                                                      and Crown covering Brodie,
      So, would you mind putting pen           8. What are your main con-                 Balgonie, Mayfield and Woodland
  to paper, or fingers to the keyboard,           cerns about the Forest?                 Roads.
  and frankly tell us? We will be very            Large and small ones.              3. North Chingford near Nevin Drive
  grateful for all and any responses           We were quite blunt and frank in           School area covering College
  you can send – good, bad or               our replies… so we expect you to be           Gardens, The Ridgeway, Mount
  indifferent.                              too! – anonymously if you wish.               Echo and Sunset Avenue.
     These are some of the questions                                                 4. Woodford Green area covering
                                                But, would you please indicate
  we asked ourselves… What do                                                             Hollywood Way, Gascoigne
                                            approximately how long you have
  you think?                                                                              Gardens and Oak Hill.
                                            been a member, as there might be a
                                            difference between those of you who      5. South Woodford area covering
      1. What do you think the FoEF                                                       Chelmsford, Derby, Empress,
         does best – what are we            have supported us for many years
                                            and those who have joined us more             Fullers and Stanley Roads.
         ‘good at’?
                                            recently.                                Please contact me if you can help on
      2. What do we do badly – what             If you are not a member but see      020 8529 8594.
         could we do better?                our Newsletter or know of our
      3. What should we do that we
                                            activities we would also be extremely
                                            interested in your views.
                                                                                      F of EF E-MAIL AND WEB
         do not do at all? – or what
         should we be doing more                We really want to know what you       ADDRESSES
         of?                                think – and in the next Newsletter we     Ken Hoy: kenhoy@care4free.net
                                            will tell you what you think…
      4. What about our contacts                                                      Membership Secretary
                                            collectively, and what we thought!
         with you – are you suffi-                                                    (Seymour Moss):
                                               Many thanks in anticipation?           seymour@moss40.freeserve.co.uk
         ciently informed?
                                                                                      FofEF web-site:
Page 8                                                                     Friends of Epping Forest Newsletter Spring 2007
WANSTEAD PARK                                 WALKS                                           the Reed Mace (‘bulrush’) beginning to
                                                                                              take over the pond again. We could see
REVEALED                                      Natural Re-cycling                              no signs of the beautiful Flowering
                                              I was joined by a small but enthusiastic        Rush that once freely decorated this
The historical significance of Wanstead
                                              group for a leisurely stroll near Jack's Hill   pond in July & August. We hoped it has
Park is the theme of an imaginative
                                              on the afternoon of Thursday 19th Oc-           not died out or been cleared out by
wide ranging project organised by the
                                              tober. Hidden among the leaves were a           mistake.
members of the Wanstead Parklands
Community Project who have won a              significant number of small and not so
Local Heritage Initiative Grant of            small toadstools of varied forms and col-
£28,380. The Local Heritage Initiative        ours. Some like the Chartreuse coloured
is a national grant scheme that helps         False Deathcap Amanita citrina are poi-
local groups to investigate, explain and      sonous, others such as the chunky
care for their local heritage landscape,      brown topped Bay Boletus Boletus
landmarks, tradition and culture. The         badius are delicious, but cannot be col-
scheme is a partnership between the           lected without a licence. A number of red
Heritage Lottery Fund, Countryside            Fly Agarics Amanita muscaria (which
Agency and the Nationwide Building            have hallucinogenic properties) were dis-
Society.                                      covered beneath some birches and a fine
                                              edible beefsteak bracket (Fistulina
    This money will be used to raise the      hepatica) grew high up on an oak branch
profile of the Park by encouraging            out of reach of any collectors. A magnifi-
further research into its history, the        cent troop of the delicate Porcelain Fun-
publication of informative leaflets and       gus (Oudemansiella mucida) was found
the production of a DVD about the             on a fallen beech trunk and several col-
famous and infamous people                    our varieties of brittle caps (Russula spe-
connected to the Park as well as the          cies) were seen as well as milk caps
landscape.                                    (Lactarius species). At this time of the        Flowering Rush in Fairmead Pond 1977
   Funds are also available for the           year, many species provide essential
purchase of a magnetometer for a non-         nourishment for deer and other wood-                Fairmead Bottom was very fresh
invasive archaeological investigation to      land creatures including various minute         and green having been grazed by cattle
search for the possible location of the       flies.                                          and rabbits, but we saw little signs of
Roman villa site.                                  I explained the beneficial                 returning wild flowers. We also looked
    The members of Wanstead                   mycorrhizal association between                 at three of the bomb craters – once rich
Parklands Community Project are               certain fungi and woodland trees and            with pond life, including dragonfly
working closely with the Conservators         how this can help newly planted trees           nymphs. They too contained invading
of Epping Forest to encourage people          to flourish. Several hollow trunked trees       Reed Mace and were heavily trodden-
to take a greater interest in the Park.       demonstrated how effectively the                in by the cattle. The dry summer had
We wish to tap into the wealth of local       various heart rotting fungi recycle the         lowered the water levels.
information and use this to recount the       central dead wood so that its                       Looking at the growth of the large
most recent history of the Park. Do you       components can be reused again.                 Hawthorn bushes now covering the
have specific memories of the Park, or           Tips on the uses of dry Birch Bracket        southern part of Fairmead Bottom I’m
historic photos which you are willing to      Fungi completed what could only be a            afraid I became very nostalgic. And,
share with others which can be                brief introduction to the varied and            going back to my teenage ‘twitching-
incorporated into a website?                  fascinating world of fungi.                     bird-watching’ days of the early 1940’s
    Do you have an interest in or                                                             I told of the four pairs of Red-backed
                                                                          Tricia Moxey        Shrikes that nested in Fairmead bottom
specialist knowledge of 18th trade,
music, horticulture, astronomy, cuisine,      10th November 2006                              - the young of which I had ringed. They
manners or costume? Would you be                                                              bred regularly in those bushes in those
                                                  30 or so members (and some non-
willing to help with specific research                                                        days, as did several other pairs around
                                              members) turned up, on quite a sunny
projects?                                                                                     the Forest. Now they are extinct as a
                                              morning, to the Fairmead Bottom car
                                                                                              breeding species in Britain! Some of the
    Some filming for the DVD has taken        park. We noted, as the walk was
                                                                                              folk with us had not heard of the
place, but several re-enactments of           supposed to see the autumn colours,
                                                                                              ‘butcher bird’ - the Shrike’s folk name –
historical events are planned and we          that autumn was at least a month late!
                                                                                              so-called because of the male’s habit
wonder if you wish to become involved         Normally Hornbeam trees begin to turn
                                                                                              of storing surplus prey skewered on
in its production. Do you have                yellow at the beginning of October and
experience of script writing or period        here we were looking at the trees of Hill
dancing? Do you have a secret wish            Wood and they were all green! Later                We continued over Palmer’s Bridge,
be "an extra" in appropriate historical       we saw a few Hornbeams that had                 named after Col Palmer of Nazeing,
costume such as 18th grandee or               started to drop the odd yellow leaf.            who was a Verderer trying to defend the
servant, 19th high society hostess or         Beeches, in early November are                  Forest during the crucial decades of the
angry commoner?                               normally more than halfway through to           mid-19th century. We did not walk along
                                              their wonderful chestnut colours. This          the Red Path to Connaught Water, but
     If you feel you would like to offer to   year they were still mostly green, as           continued up the Ash Ride. The Red
help or discuss the project further, do       were the birches that are normally a            Path acquired its name from its original
please contact me, Tricia Moxey, by           deep gold by October!                           surface of crushed red bricks (from the
phone 01277 364522 or by e-mail                                                               Pole Hill brick field?). While the Ash
tricia_moxey@yahoo.co.uk                          We set out to look at Fairmead pond
                                                                                              Ride is of course named after great Ash
                                              – a water lily was in bloom – and noted

Friends of Epping Forest Newsletter Spring 2007                                                                               Page 9
trees growing on either side at the top       a recent “opening up” of the woodland         Sunday December 10th
end of the ride. A few are still there! Ron   where the clearance of bushes and             Christmas Walk 2006
Andrews showed us a seedling of the           undergrowth had occurred (2-3 years           The weather forecasts had been
rare Wild Service tree growing beside         ago) – we presumed this was to create         predicting awful conditions all week for
the ride. We had previously looked at         ‘wood-pasture’.                               Sunday although these were gradually
the mature Wild Service tree growing             The re-growth of ground cover was          amended to suggest that with luck we
in the car park when we started out,          mainly bramble, bracken and rushes.           might get away with it. Which we did!
and, later saw some more apparently
seedling trees beside the Green ride at           Next, we reached Pear-tree Plain –            Starting from the Lodge Road car-
the eastern end of Almshouse Plain. If        that had been cleared and restored as         park at 13.00 hours, around 40 walkers
seedlings, these are most unusual as          a plain 4-5 years ago. Here the story         turned up bravely defying the weather
the tree normally spreads by suckers          was the same, a tangle of bramble,            portents and after generously waiting
but no other mature tree could be seen        bracken and a thick growth of rushes          3 minutes for latecomers, we set off
nearby.                                       taking over.                                  along Lodge Road. I’d stuck my neck
                                                  The history of this clearing is typical   out by indicating that there was a good
     At the junction of five ways – three                                                   prospect of seeing some deer during
were rides - we admired the great             of several places in the surrounding
                                              woodland. During the first half of the        the walk. Such optimism often means
Bedford Oak, earlier called the Cuckoo                                                      that none will be seen!
Oak (I don’t why) and later rather            last century such clearings were largely
mysteriously changed to Grimston’s            kept open by grazing rabbits and deer             Having crossed Crown Hill very
Oak. John T Bedford was a Deputy of           – the cattle rarely came this far into the    carefully we arrived at Copped Hall
the Corporation of London who in 1871         woodland. But after mid 1960’s when           Gates and speculated how many
initiated their fight to save the Forest,     rabbits and deer had sharply declined,        people over the years had been put off
and the first Chairman of the Epping          Pear-tree Plain, like Ludgate Plain,          entering by their forbidding no-entry
Forest Committee. Grimston was a well-        disappeared under a thick growth of           appearance. Every time Epping Forest
known cricketer who advocated                 birch trees … until these were removed        District Council renews the public
clearance work around the tree in the         in 2001-2.                                    footpath sign by the side gate, someone
1880’s.                                          Leaving Pear-tree Plain we had             [I wonder who?] destroys it. It would be
                                              reached the Green Ride and continued          rather nice if the Copped Hall Trust put
    We speculated about the tree’s age,                                                     a welcoming notice on the gates
maybe 400 years? It has recently lost         uneventfully to Almshouse Plain and
                                              then Fairmead Bottom and the cars.            directing walkers to the side gates.
one of its giant main (early) branches
and the rings here may eventually tell        Some of us then retired to the Duke of            Once inside we turned left along the
us something of its age. In old pictures      Wellington for a ‘goodbye’ lunch with         Selvage, downhill and through the
of the tree, over 100 years ago, it looked    Sally Hayns, the Forest Public                tunnel under the M25. We ascended
much the same!                                Relations Officer, who was about to           the hill in Raveners fields and then
                                              leave the Forest and take up a senior         crossed Addison’s Meadow to Copthall
    After visiting the Cuckoo Pits – old      post in the Hampshire & Isle of Wight         Green. In this section the views were
gravel pits – we turned northwards into       Wildlife Trust.                               excellent and there was no sign of the
the woodland. Here questions were                                                           black Aberdeen Angus cattle, whose
raised about many of the Hornbeams               We drank her health and wished her
                                              success in her new job in the voluntary       enthusiastic welcoming antics have put
that had their ‘tops reduced’. They were                                                    off a lot of potential walkers.
considered unsightly. This was part of        sector.
                                                                              Ken Hoy           We then entered the Copped Hall
                                                                                            Estate and turned right back into the
                                                                                            Selvage, where I was hoping to see
                                                                                            deer, fingers crossed! Lo and behold,
                                                                                            after a couple of 100 yards there they
                                                                                            were, a mixed herd of fallows, some fine
                                                                                            bucks with good sets of antlers and the
                                                                                            rest does and youngsters.
                                                                                                We then walked up the slope and
                                                                                            into the conifer wood, where the herd
                                                                                            appeared again and then disappeared!
                                                                                            The next objective was the Trafalgar
                                                                                            Wood where a few days previously
                                                                                            some of us, together with lots of school
                                                                                            children and representatives from the
                                                                                            Epping Forest Committee and the
                                                                                            Warren had planted 600 treelets in the
                                                                                            pouring rain!
                                                                                                On the way there a large herd of
                                                                                            fallows sped across the field in front of
                                                                                            us. Having paused to view the Trafalgar
                                                                                            Wood and get our breath back we went
                                                                                            through the conifer wood to the main
 Peartree Plain, April 1964; Growth of young birch saplings in the mid-distance &           track to Copped Hall, just in time to
  nearer more new birch seedlings - following loss of grazing by deer and rabbits           observe the herd (it was probably the
                                                                                            same deer) dashing over the grass
                                                                                            towards the Hall.

Page 10                                                                         Friends of Epping Forest Newsletter Spring 2007
   We crossed the bridge over the M25
and then turned left into the Warren
                                              water fowl to keep us entertained as
                                              we cut off through a forest track for
                                                                                           DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Wood and did a complete circuit of it,        Buttonseed corner where five of the          WALKS
stopping briefly to admire the little group   main rides converge.                         March 18th Sun 10.30am
of Wellingtonia or Giant Sequoias and             We then walked the short distance        Discovering Walthamstow Forest
seeing two further groups of deer on          to the Cuckoo Pits, an interesting group
route. Just off the track back to the Gate                                                 A walk concentrating on the area
                                              of small ponds, where we examined            north of the North Circular Road.
we noted the memorial trees recently          recent conservation works before
planted in respect of Jeremy Wisenfeld                                                     Meet in Forest Drive, a turning off
                                              setting off on a route that we hoped         Oak Hill, Woodford Green.
and Eric Dormer.                              would lead us back to the Pits at the
   At this point, Peg B and Alan Curran       end of the walk.                                              Leader: Judy Adams
rushed ahead to the cars to lay out the                                                                              GR 393 913
                                                 As we threaded our way through
mince pies and open the bottle of wine,       some little used, but still muddy paths      April 18th Wednesday 10.30am
thus when the main body arrived               we had the opportunity to see pollarding     Spring in Loughton’s Forest
everything was ready and we toasted           in different areas carried out with          Meet in the Nursery Road car-park
each other and the Forest, and                greater or lesser success over each of       (The Stubbles) which is 2 minutes
speculated, unrealistically, how nice it      the last five decades including some         along Nursery Road from Smarts
would have been to lay on roast venison       recent ‘maiden’ or first time pollarding.    Lane, Loughton, almost opposite
sandwiches, and still it didn’t rain!                                                      Connaught Avenue.
                                                 Thanks to Pat Andrews’s knowledge-
                            Harry Bitten      able eye we also saw some young wild                      Leader: Richard Morris
January 25th                                  service tress, one of the rarer species in              Verderer of Epping Forest
Connaught Water to Cuckoo Pits                the forest.                                                           GR 417 963
As I set off to lead a walk from                 As we turned down a path by the           May 19th Saturday 2.00-4.00pm
Connaught Water in search of the              side of the Cuckoo Brook, which some         A walk in the High Beach area
Cuckoo Pits it started to snow, giving a      maintain is the prettiest stream in          Meet in the main car park at High
white dusting to the trees. Yesterday we      Epping Forest; we had, on several            Beach near Carl’s tea hut.
had sufficient snow to give a good            occasions, to divert to avoid trees that
ground covering and I was looking             had come down during the previous                              Leader: Alan Curran
forward to that rare opportunity in the       week’s storms.                                                         GR 408 978
current ‘global warming climate’ to a             It was very interesting for the group    June 23rd Saturday 7.30pm
walk through Epping Forest in the snow.       to note the difference in the condition      Midsummer Walk
Unfortunately it was so warm that all         of the paths which had only been             Our usual midsummer’s evening walk
the snow had disappeared within the           walked upon, in comparison to the            in the Chingford woods and fields.
hour leaving only a thin covering of ice      paths that were heavily rutted by            Meet in Hornbeam Lane, which is 10
over the muddy clay paths which we so         mountain bikes.                              to 15 minutes walk or 3 mins drive
expect at this time of the year in this
                                                  As we returned to the Cuckoo Pits        from Chingford Station along Bury Rd
part of the forest.
                                              in the bright sunshine and then to our       and is the first turning on the right just
   A group of fifteen people set off on       start point, two hours after setting off,    before the houses.
a pleasant walk round Connaught               the group commented on how they had                             Leader: Peter Read
Water with one of our group, Ron              enjoyed the walk and were looking                                      GR 393 957
Andrews, ready to record any                  forward to the next Friends’ of Epping
memorable images with his camera,                                                          July 13th Friday 10.30 am
                                              Forest walk in Wanstead Park at
and an interesting variety of ducks and                                                    Looking at Dragonflies, Butterflies
                                              10:30am on Thursday 22nd February.
                                                                                           and other summer insects
                                                                      Robert Levene
                                                                                           A gentle 2 hour walk. Meet in the
                                                                                           Cornmill Meadows car-park off the
                                                                                           Crooked Mile north of Waltham
                                                                                                                 Leader: Ken Hoy
                                                                                                                     GR 384 017
                                                                                           OTHER FofEF EVENTS

                                                                                           THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
                                                                                           will be held on Monday 21st May
                                                                                           2007 at the WOODFORD COUNTY
                                                                                           HIGH SCHOOL, Woodford Green at
                                                                                           Saturday 30th June 12 noon – 5pm
                                                                                           Chingford Village Festival
                                                                                           We intend to have a stall at this very
                                                                                           popular event and would appreciate
                                                                                           some help. We have purchased a
                                                                                           new gazebo, which is much easier to
                                                                                           erect and we also hope to have a
                                                                                           refurbished exhibition by then, which

Friends of Epping Forest Newsletter Spring 2007                                                                           Page 11
should stimulate some interest and                                                 Essex Wildlife Trust
discussion with members and non-                                                   - Epping Forest Group
members alike. Please phone Peggy                                                  22nd March - Planning in Essex:
Bitten on 02085298594 if you can                                                   Threat or Opportunity
spare some time between 11am                                                       Talk by Jill Hinds, CPR Essex.
and 5pm.                                                                           Preceded by short AGM.
OTHER                                          Thursday 19th April 7pm
                                                                                   Meet 8.00 pm in the Methodist
                                                                                   Church Hall, High Rd., Loughton.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY                          Friends of Suntrap - AGM
                                                                                   15th April Wanstead Park in Spring
                                          Please put this in your diary and        Tricia Moxey. A two hour stroll through
Epping Forest Field Centre                try to attend, as this is a crucial      the Park. Meet at the end of Warren
How does your Garden Grow -                      time for the centre.              Rd., Wanstead at 10.30 am.
Tricia Moxey Sun 25th March
                                           Saturday 30th June “Music in the        6th May - Dawn Chorus Walk
Involving Children in                       Forest” - a joint event with the       Anthony Harbott . Meet at 4.45 am in
Environmental Education                    Waltham Forest Music Service.           the cark park next to David Lloyd
Eilish Rothney Thurs 29th - Fri 30th
                                           Saturday 2nd September - Forest         Centre, off Roding Lane.
                                            Festival - No final decision has       3rd June - Wild Flowers of Roding
New Navigators - map reading               been made by the City of London         Valley
Helen Robinson 15th April                  as to details. Suntrap hope to be       Join Reserve Warden Patrick Bailly
Spring Walk                                  there if circumstances permit.        and Tricia Moxey to see what is in
Tutor: Centre Staff Sun 29th April        Saturday 13th October 1pm to 5pm         flower. Meet at 10.30 am in car park
Natural History of Veteran Trees                 Suntrap Open Day                  next to David Lloyd Centre, off
Tricia Moxey Sat 12th May                                                          Roding Lane.
Discovering Bats                                                                   Open to non-members as well as
                                         Sunday 1 April - Leyton Flats             members. Please come suitably
Roger Havard Sun 13th May
                                         Clearing encroaching scrub and small      dressed for cold and wet conditions.
Discovering Birds of Epping Forest       trees. GR: TQ 396 885                     Donations appreciated (suggested
Tutor: Will Farmer Sun 13th May                                                    donation; £2 per adult).
                                         Sunday 15 April - Thornwood
Mosses, Liverworts and Ferns             Common: Working along the ancient         Phone Tricia Moxey on 01277 364522
Ken Adams Sat 19th - Sun 20th May        Stump Road.Contact leaders for exact      for more details.
Family Environmental Arts                directions. GR: TL 474 044
Jem Ayres Sun 20th May                                                             British Naturalists’ Association
                                         Sunday 22 April - Woodford Golf
                                         Course: Carrying out scrub oak            Epping Forest Branch
Natural Connections
Jem Ayres Sat 16th June                  clearance. GR: TQ 401 934                 Annual Conference 19th May 2007
Wild food and Medicine                   Sunday 29 April - Trafalgar Wood          “Urban Enveloped Historic Habitat:
Penny Waters Sun 17th June               Assisting in the first stage of the       Epping Forest” 19th May 2007 Forest
                                         native woodland restoration plan.         School, College Place, Snaresbrook.
Green Man Arts Day                                                                 See page 8 for details or tel:
Jem Ayres Sun 24th June                  GR: TQ 432 994
                                                                                   Miss R Clayton on 020 8508 8357
Insects, Spiders and other               Sunday 6 May - Gilbert Slade
Invertebrates                            Clearing the centre ditch line of scrub   Lee Valley Park
Geoffrey Kibby Sun 1st July              and small trees. GR: TQ 396 898           Information Service: 01992 702 200
                                         Sunday 20 May - Lord’s Bushes             email info@leevalleypark.org.uk or
Painting and Drawing                                                               visit www.leevalleypark.org.uk
Jason Rose Sun 1stJuly                   Possibly be creating more glades or
                                         opening up the rides.                     May 6th 06.00-08.30
Discovering Wildflowers                                                            International Dawn Chorus Day
                                         GR: TQ 408 935
Nell Fuller Sat 8th July                                                           Walthamstow Marshes
                                         Sunday 27 May - Golding’s Hill
Wildlife Ponds                                                                     May 6th 10.00-11.30
Nicky Payne Sun 8th July                                                           Guided Walk of Waterworks Nature
                                         Working along the newly created
Aquatic Plant Identification             ride. GR: TQ 429 985                      Reserve and Middlesex Filter Beds
Ken Adams Sun 8lh July                                                             Waterworks Nature Reserve
                                         We meet at 9.30am at the Warren,
For details on Field Centre courses:     Epping Forests Corporation of             May 7th 10.00-18.00
Tel: 020 8502 8500 or e-mail:            London headquarters. This can be          Open Day – Lee Valley Riding Centre
enquiries.ef@field-studies.council.org                                             Call the Riding Centre on 020 8556
                                         accessed either from Warren Hill in
                                                                                   2629 for full details.
                                         Loughton or from the Epping New
EF Conservation Volunteers                                                         May 26th 14.00-16.30
                                         Road between the Warren Wood pub
Sunday 18 March - Deershelter            and the Robin Hood roundabout.            May Fete – Lee Valley Park Farms
Plain: Assisting with heathland          We aim to leave for the site promptly     Join us for a traditional Spring Fete
restoration. GR: TQ 426 988              at 9.45am. Wear old clothes and           with stalls and activities for all ages.
                                         sturdy boots (preferably reinforced),     July 8th 12.00-16.00
 Sunday 25 March - Blackbush
                                         and bring refreshments.                   London Wildlife Trust Open Day,
 Plain: Working around some of the
                                         For further information please email      Myddelton House Gardens
 big oaks in the area. (to be
 confirmed, check with leader)           efcv2@yahoo.co.uk or contact              …and many more.
 GR: TQ 402 962                          Peter Lyons on 020 529 3060
Page 12                                                                 Friends of Epping Forest Newsletter Spring 2007
                                                        NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
                                                    AND FORM OF NOMINATION FOR OFFICE HOLDERS
                                       THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
                                                                will be held on Monday 21st May 2007
                   at the WOODFORD COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL, Woodford Green at 7.3Opm

Agenda for A.G.M
                    1.         Minutes of the last AGM held on 22nd May, 2006
                    2.         Matters Arising
                    3.         Chairman’s Report 2005/2006
                    4.         Treasurer’s Report
                    5.         Election of the Vice Chairman and Hon. Membership Secretary
                    6.         Election of Committee Members
                    7.         Election of Independent Examiner
                    8.         Any Other Business
Officers at present are:
             Chairman: Ken Hoy due for re-election 2009
             Vice-Chairman: Sue McKinley due for re-election this year
             Hon. General Sec: Peggy Bitten due for re-election in 2008
             Hon. Treasurer: Tony Sheppard due for re-election in 2008
             Hon. Membership Sec: Seymour Moss due for re-election this year
             Existing Committee members willing to stand are: Judy Adams, Harry Bitten, Irene Buchan,
             Alan Curran, Bill Dexter, Robert Levene, Sue McKinley, Derek Meakin, Tricia Moxey and Peter Read.
Committee members are re-elected each year and those listed above have agreed to stand. If you wish to submit
nominations for the post of Vice Chairman, Membership Secretary or Committee members, please complete the form
below and send it to: Mrs. P. Bitten, 9 Frederica Road, Chingford E4 7AL by 1st May 2007.
After the meeting and a break for coffee there will be a talk about squirrels by Miles Barne from the European
Squirrel Initiative.

    I nominate for the office of Vice Chairman, Membership Sec. or Committee member
    (Please delete as appropriate):

    Name .......................................................................................................................................................................

    Address ....................................................................................................................................................................



    Tel: .........................................................................................

    Signature of Candidate ....................................................................................

    Signature of Proposer ...................................................................................... Tel: ................................................

    Name In capitals ......................................................................................................................................................

    Signature of Seconder ..................................................................................... Tel: ................................................

    Name in capitals ......................................................................................................................................................
 If you wish to nominate for more than one office, please write details as above on a separate sheet.

Friends of Epping Forest Newsletter Spring 2007                                                                                                                                 Page 13

PRESENT: Committee Members: K Hoy Chairman, Mrs P Bitten Secretary, T Sheppard Treasurer, S Moss Membership Secretary,
Mrs J Adams, Mr H Bitten, Mrs I Buchan, Mr A Curran, B Dexter, Mr J Gimson, Mrs S McKinley, D Meakin, P Read.
APOLOGIES Committee Members: Tricia Moxey, Robert Levene.
APOLOGIES: Sheila and John Besent, Peter Gotham (Independent Examiner), Josette Howlett, Richard Morris and Margaret
and Peter Sinfield.

   1. The MINUTES of the last meeting held on 25th April 2005 were approved and signed, proposed by Harry Bitten
      and seconded by Peter Adams.

   2. MATTERS ARISING - there were none.

   3. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT: 2005-2006.
      Copy of the Chairman’s report was enclosed in the Summer 2006 Newsletter.

      Adoption of the report was proposed by Seymour Moss and seconded by Adrienne Reynolds. It was accepted

      T Sheppard explained the Receipts and Payments Account from 1st April 2005 to 31 March 2006 and the
      Statement of Assets and Liabilities as at 31 March 2006, copies of both were distributed. Acknowledgement and
      thanks for work done were extended to Peter Gotham, Independent Examiner.

      Adoption of the report was proposed by Mike McKinley and seconded by Amanda Gotham and it was accepted

      Ken Hoy was re-elected unanimously. Motion was put by Bill Dexter and seconded by Derek Meakin.

      The committee was unanimously elected en bloc, including co-opted Trisha Moxey to replace Gareth Browne who
      has moved from the area. Thanks were expressed for all his hard work on the committee, especially organising
      stalls. Proposed by Peter Adams and seconded by Mike McKinley.

      Mr Peter Gotham was thanked for his work and unanimously re-elected for the current year.
      Proposed by Seymour Moss and seconded by Alan Curran.

      Volunteers were requested to help on the stall at forthcoming events, and thanks were extended to those who
      volunteered last year. Their help was greatly appreciated.
After closure of the meeting and a break for coffee, Dr Michael Grant of Kingston University spoke about his recent research
into the Lodge Road Bog. Dr.Grant is an expert in the identification and dating of pollen grains recovered from the soils of
such places as archaeological sites. He explained that the previous datings from the mud of one of the Lodge Road Bogs
during the 1970’s should be re-examined. The previous research placed the change that caused the disappearance from
the Forest of the Small-leaved Lime tree some 1200 – 1300 years ago (in the Anglo Saxon period), as much later than
similar sites elsewhere. As more modern techniques of analysis are now more accurate than the past methods he is was
conducting new research into the sediment deposits of the bogs. Unfortunately, the results of the work were not yet available
as he had hoped. His talk was interesting however, as he explained the rather complicated techniques now used, and
outlined some of the possibilities that might arise from the results. (FoEF contributed towards to cost of the research)
P.S. Since the Dr Grant’s talk, we have learned that the new methods place the crucial Lime tree disappearance as occurring
earlier than previously thought – in Roman times. The research raised further interesting questions however.

Judy Adams                 Loughton         020 8418 0730        Robert Levene               Snaresbrook      020 8989 0884
Chris Beavan                                                     Sue McKinley (Vice-Chair)   Upshire          01992 712 014
Peggy Bitten (Sec.)        Chingford        020 8529 8594        Derek Meakin                Chigwell         020 8500 1571
Harry Bitten               Chingford        020 8529 8594        Seymour Moss (Memb. Sec.)   Chingford        020 8529 0620
Irene Buchan               Chingford        020 8529 6423        Tricia Moxey                Chipping Ongar   01277 364 522
Alan Curran                Buckhurst Hill   020 8504 8720        Peter Read                  Chingford        020 8524 1659
Bill Dexter                Chingford        020 8529 1427        Tony Sheppard (Treas.)      Woodford Grn     020 8504 8288
Ken Hoy (Chairman)         High Easter      01245 231 839

                                                            Page 14

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