A last note about Sunday: Currently the wather forecast is for 'wet and windy'. I just want to confirm that the walk will go ahead as announced, 10.30 from Chingford Stn. If you come, please wear appropriate outdoor clothes. Should the weather become a serious problem, we can walk a shorter route to Copped Hall than I had planned (c3hrs). Looking over Chingford Plain yesterday showed the colours of the forest coming alive, and it would be a shame for the prospect of rain to put us off. There will be shelter once we arrive at Copped Hall.
Epping Forest is an area of ancient woodland in south-east England, straddling the border between north-east Greater London and Essex. It is a former royal forest, and is managed by the City of London Corporation. (Wikipedia)
Copped Hall is a fine Georgian mansion that is currently under restoration. It is superbly sited on a ridge overlooking its landscaped parkland. The mansion is visible from the M25 which passes through a corner of the park. The mansion and gardens are situated on a site of ancient human habitation. Important buildings were demolished when the present mansion was built. From[masked] a campaign was successfully fought by a committee comprised of representatives of local conservation societies against repeated large scale aggressive development proposals for the mansion and parkland. Three of these individuals set up the Copped Hall Trust – which finally saved the mansion and gardens by purchasing them in 1995.The Corporation of London had already saved the surrounding parkland by purchasing it in 1992. The main aim of the Trust is to permanently protect the site, to carefully restore Copped Hall and its gardens for educational and community benefit. Copped Hall and its gardens are strictly private. (copied from http://www.coppedhalltrust.org.uk/)
Our walk: We will meet at Chingford Station (zone 5) at 10.30 and wait for the arrival of the train leaving Liverpool St at 10.03. We will leave promptly after he arrival of this train and make our way to the nearby medieval Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge and the modern visitor centre overlooking Chingford Plain and the forest. This will be our first, short stop. You are welcome to explore and collect information on the forest and its history, or have a quick tea at Butler’s Retreat. We will leave at 11.15 and walk via High Beach (pub and visitor centre, short stopover, facilities) , Loughton Camp, Ambresbury Banks (both ancient monuments) through the forest to arrive at Copped Hall in time for the open day at 14.00hrs (Entry £3.50). You are free to explore the garden on your own or in groups. The volunteers of Copped Hall organise plant sales in the walled gardens, and serve cake and tea and coffee in the Racquet Hall (one of only five that survive in the country). From here Epping, and the terminus of Central Line (zone 6) are easy to find. However, for anyone who would like to go in company, we can meet at 17.00hrs at the gate and walk to the station in company.
You need: Please dress appropriately for long walk and weather. Bring enough water and food to last you through the day. Entry to Copped Hall is £3.50. Bring any good maps you have of the area, especially if you would like to finish the walk earlier making your own way to other nearby transport points, which is well possible. Also, please bring any tree and plant id books you have. At the end of the walk you should be able to recognise at least four of the most important native tree species, it would be good to support discussions on other plants with some printed references.
If you are travelling to Liverpool St in the morning, please avoid the Central Line. The section west of Liverpool St will be closed. Our return from Epping in the afternoon won't be affected.