New Chairman to lead Epping Forest and Commons Committee

Ben Murphy has been elected as Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Epping Forest and Commons Committee.


Previously Deputy Chairman, Ben succeeds Graeme Doshi-Smith, who has now been elected as Deputy Chairman.


Working closely with its local communities, the Epping Forest and Commons Committee sets policy for City Corporation-run open spaces in Essex, Buckinghamshire, London, and Surrey.


They comprise Epping Forest – including Wanstead Park and Wanstead Flats – and ‘The Commons’, which encompass Burnham Beeches, Stoke Common, Ashtead Common, West Wickham and Coulsdon Commons, Farthing Downs, Kenley Common, Riddlesdown, and Spring Park.


All are run as registered charities by the City Corporation which, provides them with over £6.5 million in funding every year. The sites attract over seven million visits annually.


Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Epping Forest and Commons Committee, Ben Murphy, said:


It is an honour and a privilege to be elected Chairman of these charities, after four years on the Committee.


"The Covid-19 pandemic has made clear how important having access to green spaces is to our health and wellbeing.


"These spaces are also playing a critical role in the UK's response to tackling climate change. They include important wildlife habitats, Special Areas of Conservation, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and National Nature Reserves.


“We will continue to work tirelessly to protect and conserve these green gems for our visitors to enjoy and I look forward to working closely with our many diverse local communities and volunteers who remain the lifeblood of our forests, parks, heaths, and downlands"


Ben has served as a City Corporation elected Member for over five years and sits on its Policy and Resources Committee, its Children and Community Services Committee, its Education Board, its Open Spaces and City Gardens Committee, and its West Ham Park Committee. Ben is also a Sponsor Trustee and Director of the City of London Academies Trust.


He lives in Epping Forest and has worked in the City of London for the past 15 years, currently as a Chief Operating Officer for a global Investment Bank.


He was elected as a local councillor for Epping in Epping Forest in 2007 and served as both Deputy Mayor, and later, Mayor.


The City Corporation manages over 11,000 acres of open space in London and south east England, including Epping Forest and Hampstead Heath, and over 200 smaller sites in the Square Mile, investing over £38m a year.


The City Corporation’s green spaces, most of which are charitable trusts, are run at little or no cost to the communities that they serve.


They remove around 16,000 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere a year, equivalent to 44% of the City Corporation’s annual carbon footprint.


They are protected from being built on by special legislation.


Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.


Media enquires

Kristina Drake

Media Officer, City of London Corporation