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Epping Forest news

COVID-19 national health emergency

We would like to thank Epping Forest visitors and local residents for your patience during this national health emergency which has seen restrictions around the public use of Epping Forest.  During this difficult time, like many organisations are experiencing, our resources are stretched whilst there is an increased public demand and we are therefore grateful for your understanding.  

Social distancing

We are thankful to the majority of our visitors who have been observing appropriate social distancing in Epping Forest.  Social distancing is the responsibility of every individual and we continue to encourage visitors to be mindful of the need to ensure others have the required space.  Please note that any concerns regarding social distancing should be reported to the Police on 101.

The Government is very clear, that even as lockdown is relaxed, a failure to follow the social distancing guidance will result in a return to increased restrictions. 

Car parking

In line with the Government’s latest guidance, and with the full support of the Police, car parks will reopen across Epping Forest starting from Thursday 14 May.  Please be patient as we phase a return to opening all car parks, which will commence with the opening of our larger, gated car parks. 

Please be aware that car parks may be busy. We ask you exercise caution as you leave and return to your car as it is of course important to maintain the correct social distancing. If necessary, please wait until you can maintain safe social distancing as you depart from or approach your vehicle. 

High Beach Village temporary ‘no stopping, waiting and parking’ zone

To help maintain safe access through High Beach village a temporary traffic order was introduced on 22 May on a trial basis. Find out more on the North Essex Parking Partnership website.


We are litter picking throughout the Forest as fast as possible and we are extremely grateful to those volunteers who are still able to assist us with this, whilst taking exercise. It is always important to remember to take your litter home with you, however it is particularly vital at this time as we are experiencing such high visitor numbers.

Dog walking

We are pleased that dog walkers and their canine companions love to visit Epping Forest.  It is always a requirement that dogs must be under effective control, but once again we must highlight this point at this time as difficulties with dogs can quickly undermine social distancing.  As always please ensure that your dog does not approach other people, especially children and horse riders. 


We believe there has been a ten-fold increase in cycling across the Forest. Whilst we welcome those enjoying cycling in London’s ancient woodland, we remind cyclists of the need to keep your distance from others and to cycle at a speed at which you can stop quickly should you need to. Pedestrians have right of way. 


Chingford Golf Course reopened on Monday 18 May for a maximum two-ball playable with social distancing measures in place. Book in advance online.

Woodford Golf course reopened on Wednesday 13 May. Theydon Golf Course has initially re-opened to members only on this same date and will be reviewing regularly to ensure safe golf.

Horse riding

Social distancing must be observed by those horse riding in Epping Forest. Open riding resumed on 1 June. A valid horse riding licence is required and you can find this on our horse riding licence page. Please only apply by post.

Catering facilities

Our independently operated cafes and tea huts remain closed in line with Government guidance.  

Public toilets

These remain closed at this time. We will reopen them as soon as we have staff resources and practical adjustments in place to make these facilities COVID-19 secure.

Visitor Centres and other sporting facilities

In line with Government guidance, the Epping Forest Visitor Centres and other sporting facilities remain closed.  We will review this situation as Government guidance is updated moving forward. 

For now, please first check our website for answers to your enquiries. If you still need to contact us, you can reach us through social media below, by email or by phone on 020 8532 1010 (24 hr).

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Forest Focus

Forest Focus is our free quarterly newsletter. It's full of the latest stories, features, news and events in Epping Forest.

You can now read Forest Focus online for free on issuu

You can also pick up a printed copy at one of our visitor centres.


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Forest works and maintenance

You may want to plan your visit to Epping Forest around any maintenance work we're conducting. Typical tasks include clearing, grass cutting and bridleway or path maintenance.

Week commencing Monday 1 June

  • Forest wide: tree defect works, highway verge cutting, amenity area grass cutting and cattle fence repairs
  • Claypit Hill car park: closed until further notice
  • Manor Flats: pest control
  • Railway Field: closed to public access
  • Theydon Bois Green: seating and bin relocation

Upcoming volunteer tasks

  • No tasks

Note: Some other works may be reactive in nature, and not scheduled. We apologise for any inconvenience these works may cause. For further information, please email us.

Cattle grazing

Our Longhorn cattle are back on the Forest and busily grazing. Find out where our cows are this week and learn more about grazing on our grazing page.

13 March 2012
Last Modified:
29 May 2020
Unable to display this Web Part. To troubleshoot the problem, open this Web page in a Microsoft SharePoint Foundation-compatible HTML editor such as Microsoft SharePoint Designer. If the problem persists, contact your Web server administrator.

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