Talk by Gordon Wyatt on 23rd January 2020

Gordon Wyatt gave a talk of Epping Forest entitled “Murderous Monarchs, Toxic Smogs and Texting Cows: The History, Wildlife and ongoing Management of Epping Forest”. We certainly got all of that! Epping Forest is now made up of three areas of woodland the remnants of the original much larger forest. It is two by fifteen miles in size. The soil is rendered pebble and sand with soil over the top. In mediaeval times the forest was owned by Waltham Abbey trees were regularly coppiced or pollarded. This changed at the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII.

Mellanistic Fallow deer were introduced. More recently the City of London has owned the forest. The trees are mainly Hornbeam, Birch, Crab Apple and Beech. There are also 400 pollarded Oaks. The forest suffers from a lot of recreation and substantial ‘A’ roads which run through it. There are 80 water bodies in the forest from ponds to lakes and plants such as Sundew and Cotton Grass.