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Epping Forest

Epping New Road
IG10 4AA
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Although strictly outside the GLA area, Epping Forest is the largest public open space in the London area, measuring 19km x 4km, two-thirds of which is wooded and the same proportion designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

In the second half of the 19th century large areas of the forest were being enclosed for development, with little regard for commoners' rights or general recreational needs.
Such was the Corporation's concern over this that it fought a legal battle against the enclosures, culminating in two groundbreaking Acts of Parliament passed in 1878. One of these entrusted the ownership and care of Epping Forest to the Corporation, with the second making similar provision for other open spaces under similar threat.

Epping Forest today combines the roles of scenic open space, wildlife habitat and conservation centre. It hosts numerous activities and encompasses the Grade II listed Wanstead Park, two listed buildings - Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge and the Temple - and the remains of two large Iron Age earthworks.
It also provides an ideal habitat for an extensive range of sporting activities including football, cricket and golf. Running, mountain biking and horse riding are popular along the network of walkways and tracks through the forest. There are also designated areas for boating, fishing and flying model aircraft. Some paths are provided for those with restricted mobility.



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