Epping Forest

How is the Deciduous forest used and sustainably managed?

Recreation in Epping Forest
Millions of people visit Epping Forest every year. With its woods, grassy plains and attractive ponds and lakes, there’s something for everyone. There are many footpaths for walkers (including easy access paths for people with limited mobility), 50km of rides for horse riders, and plenty of space for cyclists:
there are over 60 football pitches for hire on Wanstead flats
there’s also an 18-hole golf course at Chingford
refreshments are available throughout the forest, ranging from tea stalls,
ice-cream stands, pubs and cafes

Epping Forest is in Essex. It is north-east of London and covers an area of 2,500 hectares and about 19km long and 4 km wide. 70% of the Epping Forest is deciduous woodland. It is home to a rich variety of wildlife such as all three native species of woodpecker and wood-boring stag beetles. Fallow deer still roam the forest.

Sustainable management
For many years the practice of pollarding was used to manage the woodland. This involves cutting the trees to about shoulder height, above the level of browsing by animals such as deer. Pollarded trees reshoot at this height, thereby producing new wood for future cutting This is a good example of sustainable management as it ensures a supply of wood for future generations. It also accounts for the presence of some ancient trees because, rather than being felled they were pollarded

Over 1,600 hectares has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a European Special Area of Conservation. This offers protection under law to its large number of ancient trees, which support a vast variety of flora and fauna
The City of London Corporation looks after the forest and as part of its plans it has done or will carry out the following:
managing recreation by providing appropriate car parks, toilets and refreshment facilities and by maintaining footpaths
providing three easy-access parks to allow access for people with disabilities
allowing old trees to die and collapse naturally unless they are dangerous
controlling some forms of recreation, such as riding and mountain biking, which may damage or affect other forms of recreation
preserving ancient trees by re-pollarding them to enable new shoots to grow – since 1981, over 1,000 ancient trees have been re-pollarded Pollarding before
and after
encouraging grazing to maintain the grassland and the flora and fauna associated with it
preserving ancient earthworks and buildings
maintaining ponds to prevent them silting up
preserving the herd of fallow deer