How to support Epping Forest in the elections

1st May 2022

Spring elections are a great time to remind everyone of the importance of green spaces both in, and accessible from, our great city. Peter Lewis from the Epping Forest Heritage Trust outlines how you can let your local candidates know how much you #LoveEppingForest.

As the blossom comes out, our thoughts turn to more outdoor activities – from a gentle walk to biking and even horse riding. And as we contemplate such matters we are also thinking about who we might vote for in the upcoming elections – and what we will want from those elected.

Epping Forest Heritage Trust has been delighted to sign up to the More Natural Capital campaign and we fully support all its aims.

You might be surprised to see us as part of a London-focused campaign. But actually this ancient forest is owned by City of London Corporation who act as its Conservators.

And while much of it is to be found in Essex – in Epping Forest District – you’ll find parts of the forest are also in the London boroughs of Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest.

Love Epping Forest

Epping Forest truly brings together city and countryside through common ground, as well as providing vital ‘lung’ capacity for East London and beyond.

As a result of this – as well as signing up to the More Natural Capital campaign – we are also running our own local-election focused campaign for the first time. In this we are asking all sitting councillors and all candidates to sign up to four simple pledges to #LoveEppingForest.

These pledges include:

  • taking account of the needs of the Forest in planning decisions
  • increasing access to the Forest for all
  • reducing air pollution and
  • taking action to prevent climate change.

All areas where local government can make an invaluable contribution!

Share your stories of Epping Forest

We’d also like to hear as many voices as possible during this time – all sharing love for the Forest. So many of us have childhood memories of climbing trees or pond dipping.

So many of us found refuge in walking in the Forest alone, or with friends we couldn’t see inside during lockdown. Epping Forest has brought us both peace and communion with nature when we most needed it. It continues to be a vital organ cleaning our air and an essential habitat for our flora and fauna.

It will be in hearing your stories that councillors will truly understand the importance of putting the Forest at the heart of their decision making. So, we want to hear from you.

How you can help

Send your memories, your pictures and videos to loveeppingforest@efht.org.uk, and share them with your networks and with those vying to represent us on social media.

You could even ask your local candidates to support our campaign.

If you want to let your local candidates know how much you #LoveEppingForest you can do so on social media using that hashtag.

You can download a poster to display in your window and find materials to send to candidates on our website.

We hope you will join in!

Between our work and the More Natural Capital campaign, London’s green spaces have a real presence in these elections that we hope will have an impact on decision making for years to come.