Epping Forest is the largest public open space in the London area, at almost 6,000 acres. It stretches 12 miles from Manor Park in East London to just north of Epping in Essex. As well as being a popular area for recreation and enjoyment it is also of national and international conservation importance with two thirds of it being designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation.
The Forest is managed by the Corporation of London who work hard to improve the area for wildlife. Selective mowing and grazing by cattle is used to maintain the quality of the grassy plains where wild flowers, Skylarks and various butterflies can be found.
Hornbeam trees provide nest sites for birds such as Starlings and Nuthatches. Dead wood is left to rot, providing food for wood-boring beetles and fungi. If you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of the shy dark- coloured Fallow Deer.
Ponds are managed to provide clean water areas for large numbers of wildfowl, aquatic plants and dragonflies.