Loughton trees in winter walk

Written on . Posted in Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Trees and landscapes, Your area, Your community, Your environment

Epping Forest Countrycare, in conjunction with the Friends of Epping Forest, organised a walk along the ridge on the North West side of Loughton through the conservation areas known as “Little Cornwall” on 7 February 2012. A total of 21 people braved the cold and snowy conditions and were rewarded with a crisp sunny day and clear blue skies. The walk was led by local naturalist Tricia Moxey and Kevin Mason from Countrycare.

The walk started from Baldwins Hill Green where the opportunity was taken to look at the two large oak pollards at the top of the hill. Tricia explained the significance of the trees to the local landscape, and Kevin explained about the favourite trees database and how trees within the district are recorded.

The walk then went south along Baldwins Hill to Ash Green the former residence of William Chapman Waller, writer in 1900, of Loughton in Essex. The book is a definitive history of Loughton from earliest times. Explanation was given of Wallers Hoppit part of the garden of Ash Green which was sold for development in the 1970s. A hoppit meaning an enclosure or paddock.

From Baldwins Hill the walk went into York Hill bounded by high holly hedges until we reached the green in front of the Gardener’s Arms. The opportunity was taken to admire the view and learn about the history of the buildings and the conservation aspect of the area.

Turning to the right the walk then went along Woodberry Hill passing the site of the old Loughton Pottery and some fine trees, especially a large Black Cedar in the garden of number three.  At the end of Woodberry Hill the road ends at Loughton Lodge which is opposite Drummaids a local scenic spot with fine views looking down on the trees. We then retraced our steps taking a route into the forest passing Dryads Hall, formerly the home of the Silberrad family.

Once past the hall the path went downhill, we looked for signs of an old path which linked up with the Clay ride through the forest without having to go down hill. It is shown on maps from the 1950’s but has long since become overgrown and disappeared.

In the forest Tricia gave an explanation of the management of the Hornbeam and Beech pollards in the area explaining that they have become very top heavy and will in time topple over. We climbed back up the hill to finish the walk in bright sunshine at the top of the Clay ride. Although much of the recent snow had thawed, there was a little lingering in places and this added an extra dimension to the silhouettes of the trees encountered on the route and we all benefitted from our exposure to the sun and the calming influence of the trees!

One of the walkers commented at the end. Thank you so much, It was a particularly nice walk, and it just goes to show that a walk doesn’t have to lengthy or hard-paced to be very rewarding!

Limes Farm Festival of Healthy Living

Written on . Posted in Arts, Our activities, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Your area, Your community

Come visit us at the Limes Farm Festival of Healthy Living!

We’ll be celebrating food, fitness and healthy living. The 6 week programme includes boxfit, a dads and lads football match, the only way is boot camp, nutritious and delicious cookery workshop, all aimed at bringing fun and inspiration to Epping Forest residents.


All the activities take place at the Limes Centre in Chigwell and run from 15 February to 30 March 2012. Many of the sessions are free, others have a small charge, please check the brochures for details. The festival also includes a screening of the animated family comedy film ‘Ratatouille’ and activities run by the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.

So, why not join us for an interactive, fun session on how to prepare quick and easy nutritional meals, or come along to one of our friendly activity sessions? It’s easy, simply pick the sessions you’re interested in and telephone the number listed to book your place.

Places are strictly on a first come, first served basis, so hurry to avoid disappointment.

More information:
Limes Farm Festival of Healthy Living (pdf 1.2 MB)

Online events calendar
Councillor Ricki Gadsby Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder said: “I hope this festival helps both children and adults adopt healthy eating and lifestyle habits. Our Community Services Team has put together a wonderful variety of events that all the family can enjoy. Help kick start a healthier you for 2012, there really is something for everyone’s taste!”

Book your event at the renovated Limes Centre

Written on . Posted in Arts, Chigwell, Our activities, Out and about, Playschemes, Sports, Your area

Wedding receptions, children’s parties, fitness classes, meetings and events.

Bookings are now being taken for the Limes Centre in Chigwell which is opening in the new year.

A new facility for the whole community!

Download a copy of the Limes Centre brochure using the link below for further information on the 3 rooms including capacity, hire charges and booking details.

Limes Centre Brochure

The fully accessible Limes Centre has 3 distinct areas:

1.The Limes Hall comes with a fully fitted kitchen and can accommodate up to 200 people
2.The Limes Activity Hall is a space for up to 50 people and has a small kitchen area
3.The Limes Meeting Room is a meeting area for up to 12 people

We are now taking bookings for February 2012 onwards. An affordable pricing structure varies according to the time and day of hire and means that the meeting room can be hired out for as little as £2.50 an hour and the Limes Hall for £10 an hour. Special discounted rates are available for Limes Farm residents.

Call us on 01992 564561 or email csreception@eppingforestdc.gov.uk for information on how to hire the Limes Centre facilities.

The Limes Centre is located at Limes Avenue, Chigwell, IG7 5LP

Active Health Open Day at Thomas Willingale School

Written on . Posted in Community, Our activities, Sports, Young people, Your area, Your community

Active Health is holding an open day at Thomas Willingale School in Loughton on Monday 23 May 2011 giving mini taster sessions of its activities. Active Health is a project providing physical activity and healthy eating sessions to people aged over 50 in Epping, Harlow and Uttlesford.

The project aims to improve the health and wellbeing of older people and allow them to become more physically active and involved in the community. A number of events and fitness opportunities have been organised including exercise classes for the older generation, Nintendo Wii sessions, allotments, walks, nutrition talks and more.

The open day aims to increase awareness of the project and to gather volunteers. The day will be in 2 sessions, the morning session runs from 9:15am to 11:15am and the afternoon session runs from 1:30pm to 3:30pm.

Active Health has recently installed allotments at Thomas Willingale School and would like to recruit some of the pupil`s grandparents to give up their time and knowledge to help pupils start growing vegetables on a weekly basis. Pupils are very keen to get started on the 4 raised beds and 4 tractor tyres which have been installed.

David Hogg, Active Health Development Officer said: It has been great working with the pupils at Thomas Willingale school. They have learnt how physically demanding starting up an allotment like this is. The pupils have been a pleasure to work with and it was tremendous to see the excitement on their faces when I told them that their grandparents can come into school to help them maintain the allotment. Looking after an allotment is a great way to keep fit and eat healthy. To see the older generation helping the younger generation and all working together, will be excellent.

The project is funded by Age UK via the Big Lottery as a result of a successful application. A total of £153,886 has been allocated to the project over 4 years. The project is in it`s final year and has been working with a range of partners such as Harlow and Uttlesford District Councils, West Essex NHS, voluntary organisations and groups, sheltered housing accommodations, local community groups and schools.

For further information, please contact David Hogg, Active Health Development Officer by telephone on 01992 564269 or by email to dhogg@eppingforestdc.gov.uk.

Epping Forest District Sports Award 2011

Written on . Posted in Grants, Olympics, Our activities, Residents, Sports, Your community

With fewer than five hundred days before the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games 2012, the winner of the Epping Forest District Sports Award 2011 is James Hollis, a 16 year old from Theydon Bois studying at Davenant Foundation School in Loughton. He is currently part of the British Disability National Swimming Development Squad and junior captain of Epping Forest District Swimming Club.

James Hollis accepts the sports award 2011 from chairman Anne Grigg

He is ranked number one in the UK and eighteen in the world for 100 metre backstroke, second in the UK and thirteenth in the world for hundred metre butterfly and second in the UK and eighteenth in the World for the 200 metre individual medley The award of £1,500 will help this outstanding young swimmer gain more training pool time in London as well as paying for other expenses as his preparations focus on the 2012 Paralympics.

Three further sports awards of £500, £750 and £1,000 are to be made to Marc Brenner, a 15 year old golfer from Chigwell, 15 year old athlete Joseph Lascaris from Loughton and 19 year old Cross Country runner Ronnie Sparks from Waltham Abbey.

Epping Forest District Arts Award 2011

Written on . Posted in Arts, Grants, Olympics, Our activities, Residents, Your community

Each year the council plays its part in encouraging the arts by presenting awards to support the most gifted and talented young people in our district. Four awards were made this year totalling more than £4,000 to aspiring local performing artists and musicians.

Guitarist Tom McHenry and actor Daniel Smith from Loughton both received awards of £1,000 while Stephen Pemble, also of Loughton received £750 toward his performing arts development. Antony Camillo is the overall winner of the Epping Forest District Arts Awards 2011.

Youth Councillor Ellis Spicer accepts the arts award 2011 for Antony Camillo and chairman Anne Grigg

Aged 22 from Waltham Abbey, he is currently studying at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Antony is a highly-gifted pianist who recently won a place on the prestigious Master of Music postgraduate course at the Royal Academy of Music.

His music has reached a wide audience through performances broadcast by Radio Three and BBC Radio Scotland. Unfortunately, due to illness Antony was unable to attend the awards reception to receive his award of £1,500. However Ellis Spicer of the Epping Forest Youth Council agreed to accept a certificate on Antony`s behalf.

Disability Awareness Raising Day

Written on . Posted in Equalities, Loughton, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community

The Disability Awareness Raising event due to take place on Friday 3 December 2010, has been postponed in view of the winter weather conditions across the district this week.

Postponement of Disability Awareness Raising Day


Disability Awareness Raising DayPublished on 29 November 2010

A Disability Awareness Raising Day on Friday 3 December 2010 will show Epping Forest District residents some of the many services available locally for people with disabilities.

The event, being held at St Mary’s Church in Loughton from 10am to 4pm, promises to be both fun and informative.

Epping Forest District Council will be on hand to offer information and advice on benefits, housing, leisure and employment opportunities as well as on hate crime.

Guide Dogs, the Essex Coalition of Disabled People and Anglia Ruskin Transcription Centre will also be there to offer advice.

Highlights include:

Seated exercise class demonstration at 1pm
Residents of Woodredon House, a residential care home for people with learning difficulties, demonstrate exercises based in a chair (so anyone can participate) and lasts for 30 minutes.

‘All Together Now’ singing group at 2pm
Artability aims to provide access to the arts for learning disabled adults resident in Epping Forest. Singers will perform for approximately 30 minutes covering Christmas carols and old time classics.

‘A Day in the Life of Oak View school’
Oak View school in Loughton is an all age special school for children who have severe and complex needs. The display will include photographs and work by the students who have a wide range of abilities to show what a typical day is like for students.

Essex Coalition of Disabled People
The ECDP is run by and for disabled people, working to enhance the everyday lives of disabled people in Essex. ECDP will be providing information about their organisation and the range of support services they can provide.

  • Place
    St Marys Church, 201 High Road, Loughton, IG10 1BB (opposite Loughton Police station)
  • Contact for more information
    Telephone 01992 564042
    Email equality@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Anne Grigg will be opening the event at 10am, she said: “People with disabilities, or people with different abilities can do most things an able bodied person can, just differently. This Disability Awareness Raising Day event will highlight some of the many local support and advice services available. I hope that this will increase the use of these services by disabled people, their friends and their families to help maintain or improve the quality of life of all those affected.”

New Horizons Bowls Gala Day 2010

Written on . Posted in Community, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Your area, Your community

Over 60 short mat bowlers and their supporters from all over and around the Epping Forest District took part in the 21st Annual Bowls Gala Day hosted by the Council`s New Horizons 50+ Scheme on Thursday 28th October.

The event which was held at Epping Sports Centre, attracted 16 teams from short mat bowls clubs as far as Sheering in the north to Woodford in the south, who played a full days bowls, which was eagerly watched by District Council Chairman Cllr. Anne Grigg.

Victorious Upshire Team with Chairman of Council, Cllr Anne Grigg

A fun and competitive day was had by all, but the players from Upshire Bowls Club were certainly on top form on the day, with their team successfully winning their half, resulting in them facing the Queens Hall (North Weald) team in the final.

Cllr. Grigg was delighted to be present on the day, to watch the very closely fought matches between all of the teams taking part in the event and to witness the obvious enjoyment had by everyone involved “ including the spectators.

In her speech, she thanked the Council`s Sports Development team for organising the event, which was a tremendous success and for the assistance of the many helpers that were involved in providing teas, raffles, scoring and umpiring on the day, all of whom were of retirement age themselves.

She then took great pleasure in presenting the Upshire team with the Bowls Gala Championship Trophy and the Queens Hall team with their runners up awards.

Awards Presented to Local Youth Clubs

Written on . Posted in Community, Meetings, Our activities, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Epping Forest Youth Councillors proudly presented the fruits of their labour over the past six months by arranging an evening to celebrate the work of the district`s various youth clubs.

Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Cllr Ann Grigg, joined with the Youth Council to present awards to 12 youth projects in the Council Chamber on Tuesday evening.

Youth Councillor Jekin Patel explained, Following our Youth Conference in March, we decided to undertake two projects to address concerns regarding the lack of activities on offer for local teenagers. One group developed an online survey enabling 260 young people to comment on what they would like to see provided, and interviews were recorded for a DVD. Our second group set about visiting and reviewing every youth club in the district as part of a mystery shopping exercise.

Youth Project Winners

Members of the Youth Council assessed 12 youth projects on criteria such as their location, publicity, opening hours, disabled access and friendliness of staff. Each project was given a star rating. The awards evening saw five local youth projects received a 3 star award, six projects received a 4 star award and Youth Plus in Ongar received the highest 5 star award and a crystal trophy.

Brenda Rugeley from Youth Plus thanked the Youth Council for the award and said that it was an honour to receive it as it would mean so much to the members and volunteers involved in the club.

Having worked hard to locate and visit every youth club in the area, Youth Councillors have designed and produced a tube-map style poster to share with others. The poster, which shows the full address of each club, is available to download below, at Council Information Points and libraries.


Hole in One for Chairman’s Charities

Written on . Posted in Local business, Our activities, Out and about, Sports, Supporting business, Your area

In a keenly fought competition golfers raised over £800 for charity at this years Chairman`s Charity Golf Day held at Chigwell Golf Club. The Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Anne Grigg invited 30 contestants including Councillors, Officers and Guests of the Chairman, on 15 June 2010 to raise money for the Chairman`s chosen charities: St Clare`s Hospice, Cancer Research UK, Chigwell Riding Trust and the Air Ambulance based at North Weald Airfield.Chairman Anne Grigg presenting the Don Spinks Shield to Annette Duncan

The winner of the competition and recipient of the Don Spinks Shield, and champion golfer for 2010 was Annette Duncan. The Chairman provided welcome refreshment at the halfway stage, proving popular with all the contestants, and presented the prizes in the Clubhouse after.

Chairman of Council, Councillor Anne Grigg said: “I would like to thank all who helped to make my Charity Golf Day such a success. It was a glorious summer afternoon and I had a fun and memorable day. We raised £818.68, a significant amount of money that will be shared between the 4 worthy charities that I have chosen to support during my year as Chairman.”

Scores and Competition Winners

Don Spinks Shield
39 points Annette Duncan from Sports and Leisure Management Ltd (SLM)
36 points James Carstairs, Epping Forest District Council Sports Development Officer
35 points Colin Stone, Epping Forest District Council Housing Officer

Robert O`Malley Cup for Ladies Golfers
33 points Kim Bames, General Manager at Epping Sports Centre
25 points Julie Chandler, Epping Forest District Council Assistant director for the Office of the Deputy Chief Executive

Robert O`Malley Cup winner Kim Bames and champion golfer 2010 Annette DuncanNearest the Pin Prize
James Warwick Epping Forest District Council Sports Development Manager

Longest Drive Competition
Nick Fanning Epping Forest District Council Auditor

Highest placed Guest of the Chairman
34 points Dave Wilson
29 points Chairman`s husband Ian Grigg

Other notable scores were ex-employees Trevor Johnson with 33 points and Bill Brooks with 32 points, whilst the defending Champion Dave Clifton scored 31 points.