Have your say on Hollow Pond play facilities

Local residents are being asked for their feedback on proposals to install natural play equipment at Hollow Pond on Leyton Flats. The £30,000 project funded by Waltham Forest Council’s Open Spaces Strategy has developed six designs, which will now be put out to public consultation.

The Council’s Open Spaces Strategy 2010-20 identified the area around Hollow Pond as deficient in play facilities and accordingly £30,000 has been set aside to rectify this with the proposed installation of new play equipment.

The area proposed for the new facilities in within the boundaries of Epping Forest, owned by the City of London Corporation. In addition, it is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The authority is obliged to protect this special site and must seek permission from Natural England for changes of this type.

Because of the special nature of the site, traditional play equipment is not suitable and natural play equipment has been proposed instead. This will fit in with the natural aspect of the forest, meet requirements regarding the SSSI and has been shown to have benefits for the emotional and physical wellbeing of children.

“It’s important that we are sensitive to the environment, while at the same time looking to meet the needs of residents and encouraging them to use the forest and take advantage of local beauty spots like Hollow Pond,” said Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with the London Borough of Waltham Forest to provide this new facility for local families. The Forest itself is a wonderful and vast resource for natural and outdoor play, and we hope this recreation area at Hollow Pond, one of the Forest’s most popular locations, will encourage families to get out and enjoy all Epping Forest has to offer,” said Alderman Gordon Haines, Chairman of the Epping Forest Committee at the City Corporation.

Of the six designs that are being put out to public consultation, three will be installed on three sites around the edge of Hollow Pond. Residents can get involved in the consultation by completing an online questionnaire that will be available between 26 January and 9 February at

Residents can also attend one of two public drop-in sessions on either 24 January between 10am and 2pm at the Langthorne Park Pavilion in Langthorne Park, Birch Grove, Leytonstone, E11 4YG, or on 31 January between 10am and 2pm at St John the Baptist Church on Church Lane/High Road, Leytonstone, E11 1HH.