Improving your health is as easy as riding a bike with ‘Cycle For Health’

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Health, Loughton, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community

Cycling For Health FlyerStarting on 19th June we will be running a new daytime cycling programme called “Cycle For Health”. The programme is a series of weekly lead rides in Epping Forest and the Lee Valley.

It has been proven that regular cycling can help you lose weight, reduce stress and improve your fitness because, contrary to popular belief, it is not an activity that solely involves the legs. Furthermore it is one of the only whole body activities that involves very low impact and low risk of muscle strain. This makes it excellent if you have joint issues or even a problem with your weight.  In fact it has been found that steady cycling burns approximately 300 calories per hour. Therefore, if you cycle for 30 minutes every day, you would burn 11 pounds of fat in a year.

The rides are open to all and we put an emphasis on fun and friendship. To join the programme you don’t even need to worry about a bike as one of our officers can arrange for bike and helmet hire (if you contact them before the ride) so all you need to do is turn up at the meeting point ready to ride and meet new people.

Should you have your own mountain bike and helmet we are more than happy for you to bring them along, but please ensure it is safe to ride as our instructors may turn you away from the session should your bike not be deemed suitable.

The weekly rides will take place every Wednesday morning at 10am. Rides will generally last two hours with breaks, refreshments (not provided so please bring your own) and time for a bit of socialising.

The sessions cost £3 if you bring your own bike and £6 if you wish to hire one.

You can download a copy of the diary of rides that we have planned using the link below.

Cycling For Health Ride Diary Summer 2013

Full details of each of the Cycling For Health rides can also be found on our Sporting Events pages.

If you would like more information please contact Fabrizio Ferrari on 01992 564567 or email

Lifewalks on 11th and 16th June to go ahead despite road closure

Written on . Posted in Health, Loughton, Our activities, Out and about, Sports, Your area

Lifewalks Numbers 20 and 21  from Fairmead on the 11th and 16th June are going ahead but all Lifewalkers to note that the road from the Robin Hood roundabout will be closed. To get to the start of the walk, you will need to go via High Beech (turn off A121 up Wellington Rd, Claypit Hill and past High Beech) or via Sewardstone Rd and Avey Lane.

Stay & Play group achieves Gold Award for good practice

Written on . Posted in Community, Epping, Health, Housing, Media, Our activities, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

The Community Development Team at Epping Forest District Council runs a regular parent and toddler session at Norway House Homeless Hostel for families and mums to be. The session provides space for children to run around, play, be messy and socialise with other children. The session uses play to encourage parents to interact with their children and enhance their parenting skills in a friendly, supportive environment.

Stay and Play Team receving their awardThe group has recently been awarded the Pre-School Learning Alliance’s Gold certificate following completion of the third annual review of the Baby and Toddler ‘Good Practice Checklist’.

Criteria included

  • good health & safety practice
  • employment procedures
  • play activities
  • inclusion
  • record keeping

In particular, the group gained recognition for the ongoing quality childcare experience provided at Norway House. The ‘Stay and Play’ sessions run on Wednesday mornings between 10.30am to 12.30 in the Norway House common room.

For more information about ‘Stay and Play’ contact Lucy Eales on 01992 564363 or

Grow the Game – Funding for grass roots football in the district

Written on . Posted in Community, Equalities, Health, Older people, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Young people, Your community

Grassroots football in Epping Forest has been given a helping hand following a £5,000 Grow the Game grant from the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity.

The grant will allow Epping Forest District Council to develop football provision specifically for people with disabilities within the district.

Grow the Game funding increases participation in our national game by helping clubs to provide opportunities for new players, or training volunteers to support new players and teams. The programme is delivered in partnership with all of the 46 county football associations and is funded by The FA.

So far Grow the Game has awarded 874 separate grants worth around £4.2m to grass roots football clubs. Analysis of the monitoring and evaluation so far predicts that this will result in the creation of 3,791 brand new football teams competing in FA-affiliated leagues, 72,872 new players participating each week and 10,959 new qualifications or courses being completed.

The key strength of Grow the Game is that its participation increases are sustainable rather than transient. Its grants create a solid infrastructure of teams and newly-trained coaches in which new people can start playing the sport, rather than simply providing temporary activity sessions, which are then vulnerable to drops in participation once the programme ends.

Olivia Worsfold, Disability Inclusion Officer, said: “Having identified that there was a gap in provision in the sport for people with disabilities, this funding will allow us to work with local clubs to help them develop sessions that cater for people with disabilities.

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Grow the Game has become one of the Foundation’s most popular schemes. This additional funding provided by The FA is excellent news for grass roots clubs seeking to start new teams and get their volunteer coaches qualified with FA coaching badges.

“This most recent funding window has seen £2.1m invested into 420 clubs right across the country.

“Congratulations to Epping Forest District Council for working with the Essex Football Association to secure their £5,000 Grow the Game grant which will increase participation in the region as well as support football development in the area.”

For more information contact:

Couch to 5k in 6 weeks!

Written on . Posted in Community, Epping, Health, Older people, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Young people, Your area, Your community

Couch to 5k in 6 Weeks!

We are starting up our running group in Epping so if you are entering this years North Weald Race For Life why not come along! And guys, there is a local park run for you to work towards!

This years group is called ‘Couch to 5 k’ and is for everybody!

We start on Monday 20th May 7pm – 8pm and meet in Stonards Hill Car Park, Tidy’s Lane, Epping, CM16 6SP

The course ‘runs’ for 6 weeks and costs just £15.00! Please book your place on 01992 564 226

Beginner and intermediate runners are all welcome but please ensure you wear suitable footwear and clothing and bring a drink!

Your coach is a fully qualified Run England Leader with a wealth of knowledge and experience to guide you all the way

Why not come along, get fit and have a giggle.

Chances for young people to get into golf

Written on . Posted in Epping, Health, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Young people, Your community

Chance for young people to get into golf

Theydon Bois Golf Club and Epping Golf Course are offering young people aged 10 and above the possibility to learn to play golf coached by PGA Golf Pros.

The six week courses both begin on Sunday 5 May and offer young people the possibility to learn the basics of the sport and the opportunity to have a go on the courses.

The six weeks cost just  £10 @ Epping and £30 @ Theydon Bois and all equipment will be provided.

If you would like more information or to book on to the courses please contact the following people:

Epping Golf Course;

Warren Tel; 07888 828 760 Email;

Theydon Bois

Richard Tel; 01992 812460 Email;

Get Into Golf at Theydon BoisGet Into Golf at Epping

Easter Holiday Playschemes are set to be the best yet

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Health, Loughton, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your environment


Easter Holiday PlayschemesWith a wide range of fun and exciting activities, including an ‘Easter Eggstravaganza’  that includes an Easter Bunny hunt, Easter-themed arts and crafts, sporting fun and games, competitions and an ‘eggciting’ fancy dress party the council’s Easter Holiday Playschemes are set to be the best yet!

The theme of the second week of activities is Cartoon Capers and will be action-packed and full of fun with wacky races, super heroes, cartoon princess and lots more. The week will end with a fun party with children dressing up as their favourite cartoon character. In addition, children are able to choose from a range of activities every day including sports, music, drama, arts and crafts.

Due to popular demand the Playschemes will start at 8.45am and run until 3.30pm.

Children can come along for the whole two weeks, or individual days as required.

The Easter Playscheme will be based at Thomas Willingale School, Loughton and will run from 2-12 April inclusive. The booking line is now open on 01992 564226 and the playschemes will continue to offer great value for money at £15 per day (£8.50 concessions).

We are also running a number of ‘Play In The Park’ and Play In The Forest’ sessions for children from 5 – 11 years old.

Play in the park logo‘Play in the Park’ is all about playing games and having fun outdoors. Play Rangers will bring along a wide range of equipment for children and young people to enjoy and will help organise games. Space Hoppers, flying saucers, rounders, football, arts & crafts and endless fun! Children are:

Free to come
Free to go
Free to play

Please note ‘Play in the Park’ sessions are provided as play opportunities for children and young people and not as childcare. All participants may come and go as they please. Staff are not obliged to prevent any child from leaving the session. There are no toilet facilities at the sites.

Play in the Park is supported by your local parish/town council.

No booking is required, just turn up and have some fun. All sessions are free of charge and parents/carers are free to stay and join in.

For details of the dates and times of the Play In the Park sessions please visit our Community Events listing on our website.

Play In the Forest LogoPlay in the Forest’ is all about playing games and having fun in the forest. Play Rangers will bring along a wide range of equipment and activities for children and young people to enjoy and will help them explore the forest. Activities will include den building, nature trails and woodland arts and crafts. Suitable clothing to be worn and children to be accompanied by an adult. There are no toilet facilities at the sites. No booking required, just turn up and enjoy yourselves.

The sessions cost £2 each and you pay when you arrive on site.

For details of the dates and times of the Play In the Forest sessions please visit our Community Events listing on our website.

For general information regarding Easter Holiday activities, please telephone the Community Development Team on 01992 564556.

For full dates, times and locations of all our upcoming programme of activities and play schemes please take a look at our events calendar.

Youth Mountain Biking Club rides in Epping Forest

Written on . Posted in Health, Loughton, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area

Youth Mountain Biking Club every Saturday in Epping Forest

Learn new riding skills and improve your off road bike handling on the trails of Epping Forest under the instruction of expert coaches; sessions will include fundamental riding techniques and forest rides.  The club will provide an opportunity to meet like minded new friends, and take part in local and national mountain bike competitions.

Young people will need their own mountain bike and helmet to join in although you may, at first, want to consider hiring a bike while you try out the sessions.

Please ensure bikes are safe to ride and helmets conform to British safety standards (CE marked).  Other suggested riding equipment: pair of riding gloves, pair of riding glasses (optional).

Sessions are every Saturday 10.00am to 12.00pm and will leave from Kings Oak Hotel Car Park, Nursery Rd, High Beech, Loughton IG10 4AE . Sessions cost £6, parents and guardians are welcome to take part at no extra cost.

To join the club or for more information contact Fabrizio on Tel 01992 564567 email

Netball sessions at Easter

Written on . Posted in Community, Health, Loughton, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Young people, Your area, Your community

We are going to be holding two netball sessions during the Easter holiday period so why not come along and have some fun, work on your skills, make new friends and play in some matches.

Both sessions take place on Tuesday 2 April at Debden Park High School, Willingale Road, Debden, Loughton IG10 2BQ with separate sessions for children aged 7 – 11 and children aged 12 – 16. The morning session is for 7 – 11 year olds and and will run from 10am to 12 noon. The afternoon session is for 12 – 16 year olds and runs from 1pm to 3pm.

All children taking part should bring a drink and wear suitable clothing and footwear.

All sessions cost £4.00 per person.

To book a place at the sessions please ring 01992 564226 by Thursday 28th March. 

Easter netball sessions for 12 - 16 year oldsEaster netball session for 7-11 year olds

The ones that got away

Written on . Posted in Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Health, Loughton, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Supporting business, Your area

900 fish were released into Roding Valley Lake on a sunny but chilly March morning. Members of the Roding Valley Angling Club helped release the fish by the lakes fishing platform.

The fish, 600 bream and 300 roach, all around 10” in length, were released on Thursday 14 March 2013 to help restock the lake.

The Fisheries Section of the Environment Agency (EA) funded the improvements and worked with Epping Forest District Council with the installation of aeration units to help oxygenate the water and the planting of reed bed filtration systems to improve water quality following the substantial loss of fish by natural causes in 2007. This year they provided an additional £10,000 for fish restocking at the lake.

Neil Winter, technical officer from the Environment Agency fisheries and biodiversity section said: “We are here today at Roding Valley Lake to introduce bream as part of the partnership project with Epping Forest District Council and the Roding Valley Angling Club. These fish were funded through rod licence payers money and we are here to introduce a range of species into the lake.”

Photos of the day

Tip – to view all the photos in a slideshow, click on a picture then click start slideshow (in the bottom right of the frame).

No fish were harmed during the transportation and all were successfully introduced into Roding Valley Lake.

Want to know more about angling?

The Roding Valley Angling Club are looking for new members, contact them for details by their Facebook page.