Love Limes celebrations mark first anniversary

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Health, Local business, Media, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Hundreds of local people joined the ‘Love Limes’ celebrations at the Limes Centre in Chigwell to mark the 1st Anniversary of its re-opening on Wednesday 27 February 2013.

Love LimesThey joined in with fitness classes, dance and drama workshops, martial arts classes, bingo and DJ workshops organised by staff from Epping Forest District Council in the Limes Activity Hall. Visitors were also treated to songs performanced by pupils from Limes Farm Junior School.

Information stands in the Limes Hall helped to keep people informed on a range of local services including recycling, crime prevention and health.

Youngsters ran off their energy in the football courts outside with the Tottenham Hotspur Football Foundation who ran a coaching session. 

Councillor Brian Rolfe, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council said: “I had a wonderful time. My thanks go to the people of Chigwell who attended this event and to the staff who organised it. I hope the local community continues to make use of this fantastic facility.”

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).

Watch a video of the celebrations

Book your event at the Limes Centre

The Limes Centre is a facility for the whole community, whether it’s for wedding receptions or children’s parties, fitness classes or meetings, look at the facilities we have to offer.


Swanning around on a Lifewalk

Written on . Posted in Community, Countryside and wildlife, Health, Older people, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community

Lifewalks, our walking for health group, had an unusual new walker join them on Saturday the 9 February at Hooks Marsh in Waltham Abbey. As you can see from the photograph, the new member casually walked up to Roger, one of the walk leaders on duty, to register their interest and Roger duly took down their details.

Swan registers its interest with Roger

In the end, the new member decided that a Lifewalks wasn’t quite what they were looking for and decided instead to go for a healthy swim.

Karen Murray, our Lifewalks Leader said “The Lifewalks are a great opportunity for people to make new friends and walk in areas they haven’t walked in before, as well as getting some fresh air. All of this is fun, cheap and good for you, what are you waiting for?”

To find out more about Lifewalks, our walking for health scheme, and to download a diary of our upcoming walks, please visit our website at

Join us at the Love Limes anniversary event

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

Fitness classes, martial arts and bingo are just a few of the activities taking place at the Love Limes anniversary event on Wednesday 27 February 2013.

Love Limes flyerCome along to The Limes Centre in Chigwell between 2pm and 7pm for our anniversary event to see what’s new 1 year since our centre opened. With a full programme of activities there will be something for everyone.

Also tell us what you would like to see take place at The Limes Centre in the future, and be part of shaping your community.

Activities on the day include

  • bingo
  • fitness classes
  • dance and drama workshops
  • school performances
  • martial arts
  • DJ workshops

There will also be information stands, free refreshments and more.

Love Limes anniversary event flyer (pdf 1.1MB)

Want to know more?

For more information please contact Patrick Arnold, Community Development Worker, on 01992 564556.

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

Mobile website launched

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Consultation, Councillors, Emergencies, Environmental health, Health, Media, Meetings, Museum, North Weald Airfield, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

If you’re visiting our website from your smartphone you can now choose to use Mobile EFDC – our optimised, cross platform mobile friendly version for news, events, meetings and to report problems when out and about.

Mobile EFDCGo and try it 

Mobile EFDC is simpler, clearer, faster – designed to access information when you are out and about,  focusing on our most popular online services.

A third of our users access information using a mobile device, Mobile EFDC makes it easier to navigate on small screens.

By adding a browser bookmark, or adding a shortcut on your phone homepage you can easily interact or contact us with the press of a button.

Embracing the new Government’s digital by default strategy, Mobile EFDC is part of the ongoing project to improve digital services. The update of the council website in-house using Joomla and WordPress open source software saved the council at least £75,000 in development costs and reduced its annual costs by £20,000.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up-to-date with the latest news.

Learning with Countrycare

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Councillors, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Doing business with the council, Epping, Health, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Planning, Playschemes, Procurement, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Countrycare launches environmental education service to show young people the value of the green spaces and wildlife around them.

The Countrycare team is offering an environmental education service to schools that can work with their curriculum, in both science and arts, to help engage young people with the environment. Environmental education sessions can be run on Local Nature Reserves, in classrooms or in school grounds, and we cater for all ages.

We want young people to grow up not just enjoying the countryside but respecting it as well.

Learning with Countrycare

We offer a range of projects including

  • Creating wildlife sanctuaries in school grounds
  • Building bird boxes
  • Practical projects on Local Nature Reserves
  • Tree ecology
  • Tree planting
  • Invertebrate identification
  • Guided walks

If none of these activities fit in with your syllabus we can mould lessons to fit your needs.

Find out more

Download the brochure Learning with Countrycare (pdf 1MB)

For more information about the environmental education service at Countrycare and the competitive costs call 01992 788203 or email

Find out what other work Countrycare does the website at

You can also follow Countrycare on Twitter at

Making Way – an evening of film and dance

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Health, Older people, Ongar, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

‘Making Way’ was a wonderful prelude to Christmas festivities. It brought the Ongar community together for an evening of film and dance on Tuesday 18 December 2012, to celebrate the participants’ achievements in 2012.

Shelley Dance Stars
Shelley Dance Stars

Setting the scene DanceDigital’s youth dance company ‘SWiFt’, began with a magical site-specific contemporary performance involving snowflakes and balloons in the foyer of Zinc Arts Centre in Ongar.

Performances began with pieces from Shelley Dance Stars, Moves and Grooves, All Angels and All Saints. All the performers were from local primary schools.

The audience of residents and staff of Woodredon House Residential Home in Upshire watched the first public screening of the ‘Make A Move’ film. Make a Move was the large scale dance project devised and delivered by Epping Forest Arts, part of Epping Forest District Council.

All Saints
All Saints

‘I was really impressed with the Make a Move project, very inspiring especially, engaging people with disabilities and people of all ages. I feel that dance keeps children motivated – Brilliant!’ – audience member.

‘It was a brilliant reminder of a wonderful event. Thank you so much, Shelley Primary School were thrilled to take part’ – Lesley Lewis, Headteacher.

The performers and Woodredon House residents had participated in creative workshops for ‘Make a Move’ and the amazing en-masse dance finale. Over 200 people of all ages and abilities performed together at the Waltham Abbey Town Show on Sunday 24 June 2012. Check out the video below!

And the future …Vicky Quirke and Vanessa Gayton, Dance Development Artists for Epping Forest District Council have started work on the Map The Move project. Map The Move is a digital community project involving dance, music and film that everyone can be part of. It is a legacy from the Make A Move project and to the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Details of how to get involved will be released at the end of January – keep on dancing!

Countrycare restores parish boundary hedgerow at Bobbingworth Nature Reserve

Written on . Posted in Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Councillors, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Health, Local plan / planning our future, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Volunteering opportunities, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Last Thursday, 10 January 2013,  21 volunteers and Countrycare staff planted 600 trees on the Bobbingworth Nature Reserve (former landfill site) to mark the parish boundary between Moreton and Bobbingworth. A study of old maps confirms that the area of the reserve that lies in Moreton used to be a wood, Moreton Wood. The wood disappeared sometime between 1886 and 1912 but the parish boundary remains the same.

Moreton parish boundary 1843 to 1893

Moreton parish boundary 1843 to 1893

Moreton parish boundary 1891 to 1912

Moreton parish boundary 1891 to 1912








This addition of 600 trees makes the total of trees planted on the nature reserve close to 6,000 since 2008. Native species were locally sourced and dominated by hawthorn with a scattering of hazel, dogwood, dogrose, spindle and guilder rose.  Shallow rooting species were used as the planting was mainly on the “cap”, the membrane that covers the former landfill area.

In time the hedge will provide shelter and food for birds and also a natural corridor across the site for movement of wildlife.

Volunteers worked tirelessly in very cold and muddy conditions. An enormous “thank you” to them all from Countrycare staff.

If you would like to volunteer with Countrycare call 01992 788203 for more information or email


Boccia Community Leaders Award

Written on . Posted in Community, Health, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Volunteering opportunities, Your area, Your community

We are offering the chance to train as a Boccia Community Leader. The course is aimed at individuals involved in sport at a community level with a basic understanding of Boccia. Participants will learn how to introduce it to their group.

The course takes place on Sunday 13 January 2013 from 10am to 4pm at St John’s Secondary School, Tower Road, Epping CM16 5EN and costs £60 per participant.

The Boccia Community Leaders Award (Formerly Level 1) is suitable for community workers, leaders and individual players (eg, those involved in Local Authority Youth Games, individuals and staff of residential homes, sports clubs – Boccia-specific and multi-sport, after-school clubs, etc). It will provide individuals involved in Boccia at a community level with a basic understanding of the sport and how to introduce it to their group.

Boccia is a Paralympic sport, similar to bowls and Petanque. The game sees two teams battling it out to try and get their Boccias closest to the Jack.

For more information or a registration form, please contact Fabrizio Ferrari on 01992 564567 or via email

Leader calls on residents to Shop Local

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Council tax, Countrycare, Democracy, Health, Housing, Leader, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Olympics, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Parking, Private housing, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Your money


When I became the new leader of Epping Forest District Council back in the summer, the country was poised for the Olympic Games.

The Olympics proved to be the most fantastic success. As a Country, we staged probably the best Olympic and Paralympic games ever. At a time when the economy is flat and families are struggling to make ends meet, we all showed the rest of the world what Great Britain can achieve.

I am very proud to say that Epping Forest District played its part in our national success. The Lee Valley White Water Centre outside Waltham Abbey was completed on time and budget, giving thousands of people their first taste of the Olympic rapids before any of the other new venues had opened.

But this was just the platform – we helped to provide a stage but it was the people, the volunteers, the spectators, and most of all, the athletes that made the Games such a success. And as we look ahead to 2013 that is how I see the job of Epping Forest District Council – to provide the stage and the conditions in which the residents of Epping Forest can perform to their maximum potential.

So how do we do that?

To begin with we must leave as much of your money in your own pocket as possible. We are a low tax council. It is three years since the last increase in the Epping Forest District element of the Council Tax. We have one of the lowest Council Taxes in Essex.

We are pro-business. A healthy business sector means jobs and services for local people. Pay and Display parking charges in our towns are among the lowest you can find. Many car parks are free at weekends in the run up to Christmas. Working with local businesses, we promote our town centres, visitor attractions and tourism for local residents and visitors alike.

We are pro the environment. There is terrific demand on local housing because people want to live here. We do all we can to defend the Green Belt and we are trying to provide homes to meet the needs not only of people today, but our children and grandchildren in the future.

Healthy living and an active social life go hand in hand with a good life at home and work. We provide leisure centres, support a Youth Council and keep our older residents fit and active. Much of our work is supported by volunteers. Whether you are clearing country paths and coppicing trees with Countrycare or leading a walk for older people through Epping Forest or the Lee Valley Regional Park, the work of the council is magnified and enhanced by the generosity and spirit of volunteers.

Everyone has a part to play and there is never a better time than Christmas to show your support for the district. I want everyone who lives and works in Epping Forest to join with me in making 2013 the year our district takes off.

Use your local high street

One Shops Local and Visit Epping Forest are two websites designed to support local business. Created by Epping Forest Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, the council and other members of our Local Strategic Partnership, these sites are the place to find all the information, deals and recommendations you need to support your local high street.

If you have a few hours to spare and want to make another kind of difference, why not contact Voluntary Action Epping Forest to find out what you could do.

So next time you are thinking about a day out, looking for a good tradesperson or writing your shopping list remember the answers are all online and available on your doorstep.

On behalf of all the councillors and staff at Epping Forest District Council may I wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Chris Whitbread
Leader – Epping Forest District Council

Spectrum – street dance for teens

Written on . Posted in Health, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Spectrum flyer

Learn some of the hottest dance moves as seen in music videos, award shows and concerts. Street Dance is a great way to learn how to dance, keep fit and enjoy yourselves at the same time.

It’s on Tuesdays from 7pm to 8pm and costs £3 per session (term time only) at Waltham Abbey Sports Centre, King Harold School, EN9 1LF.

For 11 to 19 year olds Guys and Girls – just turn up!

Please wear suitable clothing and bring a drink.

For more information call HealthWorks on 01992 564712 or 01992 564713 or email

See what we do on our HealthWorks page.