Stay local and respect COVID rules, Epping Forest chiefs warn

Epping Forest’s managers are urging people to stick to COVID rules and only visit the site if they live locally.

The call comes after reports of large numbers of people taking advantage of warm weather last weekend to gather for drinks and picnics at High Beach – in breach of lockdown restrictions.

The City of London Corporation, which manages the 8,000 acre forest, is asking people to act responsibly and stick to Government restrictions on social distancing.

The current rules allow people to go outdoors to exercise, but only in their local area and only with members of their own household or support bubble, or one other person.

Epping Forest is London and Essex’s largest green space and has been owned and managed by the City of London Corporation since 1878.

Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Epping Forest and Commons Committee, Graeme Doshi-Smith, said:

“After nearly a year of COVID restrictions, it’s perfectly understandable that people want to get out and spend time with friends, especially when the weather is nice.

“However, we are still in a national lockdown and it’s vital we all stick to the rules to restrict the spread of the virus.

“With infection rates falling and more people receiving the vaccine, there is light at the end of the tunnel. But we can’t afford to be complacent and allow this virus to spread.

“I strongly urge people to only visit the forest if they live nearby, to only do so for exercise purposes, to stick to the regulations and maintain social distancing.”

The City Corporation is working closely with Essex Police to monitor activity in the forest and to take appropriate action where necessary.

The City Corporation owns and manages 11,000 acres of green space in London and south east England – including Hampstead Heath and Burnham Beeches – and over 200 smaller ones in the Square Mile, investing more than £40m.

These sites, most of which are charitable trusts, are run at little or no cost to the communities that they serve.

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 – www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

Tim Fletcher | Media officer – public services

City of London Corporation

07738 862229 | tim.fletcher@cityoflondon.gov.uk