Christmas contact information

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We are closed from 5pm on 23 December 2016 until 9am on 3 January 2017. There are still ways you can get in touch with us when you need to over the Christmas holiday period.

Christmas message from Chairman Jeane Lea

Report it

Report it online (non-emergency) – report missed bin, noise, flytipping, fraud, abandoned vehicle, etc.

Report by email (non-emergency) – emails sent here will not be looked at until 3 January 2017.

Phone (emergency) 01992 564000

Housing repairs (emergency) 01992 564199

Social media

We monitor our main Twitter and Facebook accounts every day.

Pay it

Pay online 24/7 – pay Council Tax, rent, business rates, leasehold charges, etc.

Pay by phone 24/7 01992 564600

Our Debden cash office & Epping kiosk will close at 4:30pm on 23 December 2016 and reopen 9am on 3 January 2017.

Our Waltham Abbey library kiosk is subject to Waltham Abbey library opening hours.

Waste and recycling

Christmas 2016 revised collection dates

  • Collection date Tuesday 27 December 2016 revised to Wednesday 28 December 2016
  • Collection date Wednesday 28 December 2016 revised to Thursday 29 December 2016
  • Collection date Thursday 29 December 2016 revised to Friday 30 December 2016
  • Collection date Friday 30 December 2016 revised to Saturday 31 December 2016

Recycling real Christmas trees

Leave your real Christmas trees with your food and garden waste in January 2017. Remove the pot, all decorations and if over 6ft, cut in half to ensure safe collection.

Special collections

Our special collections service closes at 5pm on 23 December 2016 and resume at 9am on 3 January 2017.

Lost or found dogs

Call 07815 512833 weekdays from 7am to 9pm, weekends and bank holidays from 10am to 7pm.

Car parks

Free weekend parking in December – all of our car parks are free on weekends throughout December and bank holidays.

Epping Forest District Museum

Epping Forest District Museum is closed from 4pm on 22 December 2016 and reopens 10am on 3 January 2017.

Housing benefit payments revised dates

  • Payments due 26 December 2016 will be now be available in bank accounts around 23 December 2016
  • Payments due 02 January 2017 will now be available in bank accounts around 29 December 2016

Normal payment cycle will resume from 9 January 2017.


#OurDay the people behind your local services

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Chairman, Community, Councillors, Countrycare, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Epping, Food safety, Health, Housing, Housing repairs, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Museum, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Tuesday 15 November 2016 is #OurDay. #OurDay is a yearly tweetathon for local government to show what it does in a typical day.

Here are just a few of the people behind your valued Epping Forest District Council services.

Karen & her lifewalkers set off from Clayton Hill on a mild autumn morning

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a picture below and then click start slideshow

Take to your bikes this winter

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Health, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Tour de France, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community

As the leaves turn brown and the dark days and nights creep in, Lee Valley Regional Park – in cooperation with Epping Forest District Council – will be running a series of enjoyable, weekly Cycling For Health bike rides this wintertime, encouraging visitors to get outdoors, get fit and stay healthy on just two wheels whilst enjoying the park.

The first two-hour, guided bike ride of the series begins this week on Wednesday 2 November, departing from Fishers Green Car Park in Waltham Abbey at 10.00. Meeting points for subsequent rides include Chingford Plain, Nazeing’s Clayton Hill Country Park and the London in Bloom 2016 award winning site Gunpowder Park, recently honoured with gold level scores and named ‘Country Park of the Year’.

Cycling Back of group

Cyclists lucky enough to own a bike will need to pay just £3.50 to join one of the 20 group rides scheduled until the end of March. Riders eager to join but without wheels are welcome to hire a helmet and bike for just £7.00 per person which includes the ride fee.

Matt Ewings, Cycling Development Officer at Lee Valley Regional Park Authority said:

“The Cycling for Health programme provides lots of opportunities to not only get outdoors and get fit, but to meet new people and discover new cycle routes throughout the park. Even if the weather is a little grey and wet, cyclists will enjoy the park’s varied landscape and ever active wildlife. We hope the programme encourages our new and regular visitors to cycle in the beautiful park.”

The park will also host a special Bike Maintenance Workshop at Gunpowder Park from 9.30 until 15.00 on Wednesday 23 November, offering cyclists expert advice and tuition on how to look after themselves and their bikes. The two-hour indoor workshop will include bike safety checks, guidance on how to change a wheel’s inner tube, demonstrations on brake and gear adjustment and tutoring on the upkeep of a bike’s drive chain.

Participants at the workshop will then set off for a rewarding two-hour ride to explore the surrounding area and stop off for lunch at a local café on the route. Places for this special event are limited and booking is essential – cyclists are advised to secure their place in advance for

the price of £13.50 per person. Riders attending the workshop will also receive a complimentary bike puncture repair kit.

Covering distances between 10-15km, every group ride has been categorised into either an easy, medium or hard difficulty level taking into account the route’s gradient and will also venture across a variety of ground terrains such as tarmac, solid earth and redgrow. In addition to discovering new cycle routes, participants can also take advantage of the session’s rest break to refuel and meet their fellow riders.

Cycling offers numerous health benefits for riders, young and old, regardless of experience or difficulty. Hopping onto a bike for just one hour a day can burn up to approximately 650 calories – the equivalent of two large slices of pizzas or a bowl of luxury ice cream.

In addition to keeping riders fit, cycling can also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease – one of the UK’s biggest killers taking over 160,000 lives a year – by up to 50%, whilst improving mental health and wellbeing.

To book your place, visit or call 01992 564226 for more information.

Helping the distirct ‘stay well this winter’

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Crime and safety, Epping, Health, Housing, Housing repairs, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

‘Stay well this winter’ events have been taking place across the district preparing residents for the colder months.

Stay well this winter

Health and wellbeing event

These free events in partnership with the West Essex Clinical Commissioning group include:

  • Advice on managing prescription medicines
  • Advice on where to access to help i.e. pharmacies, NHS Choices, GP, NHS111 or A&E
  • Informative talks from pharmacist, nurses and specialist health care advisors
  • Free health care checks
  • Free Lunch

The event also includes useful help and advice from:

  • Age UK
  • Care line
  • NHS falls prevention
  • The Alzheimer’s society
  • Community Agents
  • Trading Standards
  • NHS Nurses
  • East of England Ambulance
  • East od England Fire Service

The events conclude with some light entertainment from ‘Elvis’ and a goody bag.

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a picture below and then click start slideshow

Know the steps you can take

So far ‘stay well this winter ‘has visited The Zinc Arts Centre in Ongar and The Limes Centre Chigwell.

One participant said ‘The talks were very informative and it was good to have a chance to speak to lots of professional in one place’

Karen Murray, EFDC Community Engagement said: ‘These events are a great opportunity for people to know the steps they can take to protect themselves, family and friends over the colder months and to have a bit of fun together whilst enjoying a performance from Elvis’.

Come and join us

The last ‘stay well this winter’ will take place:

  • Wednesday 16 November

  • 8 Station Road, Loughton IG10 4NX

Please note that the events run all day and include a free lunch.

Booking is required, please call to confirm a place.

  • 01992564226

Grant aid scheme for community groups

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You can apply for a grant of up to £5000 from Epping Forest District Council, if your organisation is providing community work, cultural or sporting activities.

Grant Aid Scheme

Applications welcome

Epping Forest District Council Community Services team are welcoming grant applications of up to £5000 to support organisations involved in providing community work, cultural or sport activities.

An amount of money is set aside each year and priority is given to those groups delivering Council objectives and targets.

Valuable contributions

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said:  ”Epping Forest District Council makes grants to voluntary and community organisations. They range from sports and social clubs to charities and support organisations. At its core, each is making a valuable contribution to the social and physical wellbeing of our residents.”

”Some are major national charities making a very significant contribution across the district whilst others contribute in smaller ways to enrich the tapestry of community activities that make our district such an enjoyable place to live. In tough economic times, the Council’s contribution can make all the difference.”

Compass Club make proud finalists

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Epping, Health, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Epping Forest District Council primary school project, The Compass Club, were proud finalists at the recent NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group run ‘Best of West Awards 2016’ in the Best Team/Project category.

Best of west awards 2016

Chief Officer at NHS West Essex CCG, Deborah Fielding said: “The Best of Awards celebrates the exceptional work being done in west Essex to keep people well. The finalists for these awards come from all sectors of the community, demonstrating the commitment and enthusiasm local people have to deliver the best health and care services.”

Confidence boost

The Compass Club is a 10 week project uses a mixture of theory and physical activity to boost confidence, social skills and behaviour management for children in Years 3 & 4 with Special Educational Needs.

Compass club in 12 schools across the district

The project is now in its second year and has worked with 148 children in 12 Primary Schools across the district. The project is currently free for schools and is funded by Local Delivery Group.

Extremely proud

Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor Helen Kane said: ”We are extremely proud to have been nominated for this award and to make the finals is excellent recognition for the programme and the hard work the team put in to delivering it.”

She continued: ”The Compass Club is a great way for many of the children and their families to find out more about the work our Inclusion Project does outside of school, opening up many opportunities for learning and development.”

Find out more

For schools or families who want to find out more about the councils disability provision or the Compass Club please contact Olivia Worsfold on or 01992 564 220

Follow ‘Epping Forest Disability Forum’ on Facebook

Join Active Epping Forest

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Residents are being invited to join Active Epping Forest on 19 October 2016 to help shape the future of the districts sports and leisure facilities.

Former British 100m record holder, Commonwealth gold medal winner and Olympian Montell Douglas will be there for you meet.

Active Epping Forest

Active Epping Forest aims to be a group that represents local people, meeting to discuss the development of local sport, physical activity and leisure provision in the district.

The Active Epping Forests group’s main aims will be to help make ideas a reality by:

  • Delivering new projects locally
  • Applying for funding
  • Deciding how funding will be spent

Get involved

  • 19th October 2016
  • 6.30pm
  • Loughton Cricket Club, High Road, The Uplands, Loughton IG10 1NQ

The launch event will be a chance for people to sign up and have their say on the work the group should be doing.

The event will also be an opportunity for people to enquire about sports and leisure in the district, and what’s currently available.

Be inspired by an Olympian

Leisure and Community services portfolio holder Councillor Helen Kane said: ‘Active Epping Forests is a great opportunity for people to get involved in their community and have their say about leisure and sports in their area.

Montel Douglas is proof of what can be achieved through hard work and dedication, and we hope she will inspire residents to have their say on leisure in the district.’

More information

For more information please contact:

  • Fabrizio Ferrari 01992 564567
  • James Warwick 01992 564530

Nominations open for Young Sports Award

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Civic events, Epping, Grants, Health, Loughton, Media, Ongar, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Nominate a young person for the Epping Forest Young Sports Award. The award recognises our district’s young athletes and aims to help them develop further in their chosen sports.

Epping Forest Sports Awards poster

Do you know a young person in the district who is dedicated to a sport and deserves a helping hand to further their achievements? Why not nominate them.

To be eligible for the award your nominee must:

  • Be aged 13-25 on or before the closing date for applications 30 November 16
  • Competing at county, regional or national level in a nationally governed sport
  • Live in the Epping Forest District
  • If at College or University, return ‘home’ to Epping Forest District during the holidays

Helping push through

Last year’s winner Naomi Harryman used her bursary to help pay for specialist coaching in her discipline, the Heptathlon, and physiotherapy, to help her overcome injuries.

The coaching and extra support has allowed her to train regularly, despite injuries preventing her from competing.

Naomi’s mother said: ”The award has definitely helped Naomi this year. It has inspired her to keep pushing through!”

Great opportunity

Leisure and Community services portfolio holder Councillor Helen Kane said: ”The Epping Forest Sports Awards are a great opportunity for young athletes to further themselves in their chosen discipline.”

She continued: ”Awards can range from between £100 to £1000, which can help young people pay for any costs associated with their sporting activity. So if you know anyone that could benefit, make sure to nominate them.”

Make a nomination

Applications close Wednesday 30 November 2016. Your nominee must be able to attend the Civic Awards reception on Friday 17 March 2017.

If you would like more information please contact;

Fabrizio Ferrari

Super Summer

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Health, Loughton, Media, Museum, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

The summer holidays saw a fun packed schedule, with activities taking place all over the District.

Summer Activities 16

Dancing round the district

Children learnt a whole range of dances in the ‘Dance like a Dinosaur’ workshop at North Weald Village Hall, Tuesday 26 July. Based on Jane Clarke and Lee Wildish’s book Dance Together Dinosaurs participants were getting ready for a competition and tried their claws at the tango, ballet, breaking dancing, disco and samba.

They made some fang-tastic dinosaur masks and performed a small routine for parents.

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a picture below and then click start slideshow

Kids were moving and grooving at Budworth Hall, Ongar in our ‘Street Dance Crash Course’ led by Hip Hop Pop dancer Jenny Bater.

Street dance crash course

Dancers learnt hip hop moves like Bartman, Smurf, Tip Tap Toe and the Melbourne Shuffle as well as break dancing moves W Drop, Thread and Rolling Tread, which all tied up in a great routine performed to family and friends.

A packed workshop of 30 children worked very hard at our new musical theatre workshop; ‘Musical in a Day’ to learn and perform three songs, from Tim Minchin’s hit West End musical Matilda based on Roald Dahl’s beloved book, as well as the accompanying choreography and two scenes.

Teddy Bear Tales

Theydon Bois Village Hall was filled to the brim with bears on Wednesday 28 July as Freehand Theatre performed their latest show, Frogs, Snails and Teddy Bear Tales.

Bear was having terrible sleeping with all the excitement of his birthday the next day.  The audience brought along their teddy bears to enjoy the show too and were wowed by a season changing washing line and a monster picnic basket.

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a picture below and then click start slideshow

Audience members said: ‘Beautiful production. Wonderful story and the children were mesmerised’

‘Most enjoyable and enchanting’

‘A Lovely sweet show with excellent use of laundry’

More bears came to visit the district at Loughton Library on Thursday 4 August for Booster Cushion Theatre’s wacky production of Goldilocks and the Three Bears Plus.

All told through a giant book and physical humour, the show was a hit with all ages.

Audience members said: ‘Great fun.  My 3 year old giggled through it all as did my 7 year old and me!’

‘Really wonderful show, very funny and kids were really entertained.’

‘Very funny and entertaining for all ages, thoroughly enjoyed it.’

Getting creative

Over the holidays children got to channel their inner artists, in new workshop for 2016 ‘discover your Inner Artist’.

Taking inspiration from the collection at Epping Forest District Museum, children learnt about;

  • Artist William Morris
  • Create classic ancient Chinese willow patterns
  • Design and create their own short stories,
  • Design fabric using silk

The ‘How to Draw’ workshop was taken to the next level with ‘How to Draw More’, which explored the world of drawing a bit further by drawing in different ways using: tiny pencils, pencils on the end of long sticks, with their shut and in the hand they don’t normally draw with.

The children got to study Henry Moore’s drawing of a sheep and experiment with different techniques and used tips and tricks they learnt from the ‘How to Draw’ as well as discovering new ones.

‘How to Paint’ returned this year, with watercolour and acrylic, which explored different effects of watercolour and texture of acrylic paint.

At ‘Be an Animator’ children spent the day making their own clay models and stories to turn into a short animated film.

There was a wide range of characters and stories including; snakes fighting amongst the leaves, a multi-coloured giraffe crossing a river and water squirting elephant.  All the short films are currently being edited into one and will be available to view in a few weeks.

In ‘Be a Textile Artist’ at the newly refurbished Epping Forest District Museum, children got to experiment with printing on to fabric, applique and designing their own patterns taking inspiration from the museum’s collections.

Families had great fun at the drop-in sessions, held at the both Epping Forest District Museum and Lowewood Museum, experimenting with clay, printing and model making.  Over 200 people attended the Family Fun Day held at both museums and enjoyed puppet shows and willow weaving, African drumming and mask making.

Travel with the museum passport

The Passport Project returned this summer encouraging families to visit new museums, to take part in activities and get their passports stamped. This year even more museums from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Essex were involved in the project.

Get involved

Keep up to date with cultural events in the district by following

Be the first to know about Epping Forest District Museum talks, exhibition and events.

Always keep up to date with what’s on through the Epping Forest District Council website

F.I.S.H holiday club pilot a great success

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

Over the six weeks summer holiday local organisations teamed together to run the Districts first food in the school holidays (F.I.S.H) holiday club.

FISH holiday club images

A place for families to eat together under one roof

EFDC’s Community health and wellbeing team partnered with Loughton foodbank and True Stars children’s centre based at the Limes Centre run the first Epping Forest F.I.S.H Holiday Club providing a hot meal each week to support local families struggling with the cost of food. With around 170 non-school days a year some families find it tricky to keep the kids entertained.

The F.I.S.H holiday club, part of the Trussell Trust’s ‘More Than Food’ programme, is one of 14 pilots which ran across the UK this summer, and aims to provide:

  • Fun activities
  • Learning opportunities
  • A hot meal for parents and children

Making a real difference

Heather Scholer, Loughton Foodbank Managersaid ; ‘Over the 6 weeks, 10 families attended the Holiday Club including 17 children and nearly 90 hot meals and desserts were cooked and served by 15 staff members and volunteers.

It has made a real difference to the families this summer and has created excellent partnership working between the three organisations’

FISH holiday club

Spending quality time

One parent, who has benefited from the programme, said: ‘Coming to the Holiday Club has made a difference to our family this summer, it’s been somewhere local and fun to come without it costing money and my child has had the opportunity to try different healthy foods.

It’s been nice for me to spend quality time with my child and socialise with other adults too.’

One child said, ‘I felt excited to come to the Holiday Club, I had space to do fun activities like making crowns and play tennis. I really liked the tuna pasta, the cream tea and making new friends!’

Patrick Arnold Community development officer said; ‘The school holiday is meant to be a fun time for parents and children alike, It’s great to know we’ve injected a little more fun made a difference in the district’