Roydon man fined for illegal tree felling

Written on . Posted in Community, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Licensing, Media, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Prosecutions, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Uncategorized, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your money

Mr Paul Hayden of Old house land, Roydon was fined a total of £3,199 after illegally cutting down trees protected by tree preservation orders (TPO’s).

Reckless actions

On 6 July at Chelmsford Magistrates Court Mr Hayden pleaded guilty to cutting down 2 oak trees, 2 Hawthorn trees and willfully damaging another Hawthorn, all were protected by Woodland Tree Preservation Orders in a conservation area.

Mr Hayden told the magistrates he had occupied the property for 26 years before buying in it 2016 but did not instruct his solicitor to carry out usual conveyancing searches.

He cut down the trees to clear a riding path for his daughter to avoid the horses eating acorns, which he said are found to be poisonous to them.

£3,199 worth of fines

The Magistrates considered his actions to have been reckless but not for monetary gain and implemented fines of £400 for each tree cut down and £250 for the damaged Hawthorn. He will have to plant replacement trees.

Mr Hayden has also been ordered to pay the council’s prosecution costs of £1,309 and a victim surcharge of £40 making a total of £3,199.

More information

For any inquiries regarding tree protection orders (TPOs) please contact

River dipping with Countrycare

Written on . Posted in Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Uncategorized, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Join our Countrycare team for an exciting dip in the River Roding on Wednesday 26 July 2017. See what animals live in amongst the stones and play some exciting river games!

River Dipping

  • Date: Wednesday 26 July 2017

  • Time: 11am-1pm

  • Where: Meet in Fisherman’s car park, Roding Lane, Chigwell, IG9 6BJ

  • Cost: £3 per child (4-11 Year olds)

  • Book: 01992 564 224

You will be getting in the river with your nets so wellies are a must!

Further information

Improved Nazeing Triangle nature reserve

Written on . Posted in Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Health, Local business, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

The Nazeing Triangle Nature Reserve has a brand new and accessible jetty, thanks to the hard work of Countrycare, their loyal volunteers and the Tesco, Bags of Help project.

New jetty at Nazeing Triangle LNR

Click on the photos below to begin slideshow

Habitat and access improvements

Countrycare received £8,000 in funding to help improve Nazeing triangle nature reserve’s habitat for local wildlife and provide better access for visitors.

The money was raised by the Tesco 5p carrier bag charge, which is to be used for grants to improve local parks, hold community events, support sports groups and more, in association with Groundwork – the community charity with a green heart.

Water boatmen, beetles and dragonflies

The project’s second stage was finished on Thursday 4 May 2017, following the installation of 23 pre-planted coir mats.

The mats were planted with purple loosestrife, yellow flag iris and lesser pond sedge, these will help improve the habitat around the pond edge, making it a more desirable habitat for invertebrates such as water boatmen, diving beetles and dragonflies.

Improved access

A short path leading to the jetty and a handrail alongside the boardwalk have both been installed to make the Nazeing Triangle nature reserve more accessible for everyone to enjoy.

New information panel

The final stage of the project will be the installation of a new information panel, it is hoped this will happen in the summer months.

Encouraging wildflowers

Countrycare have also given the meadow it’s yearly cut, this will help encourage wildflowers to grow and prevent coarser grasses taking over.

More information

Christmas contact information

Written on . Posted in Abandoned vehicles, Animal welfare, Arts, Benefits, Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Business, Business rates, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Commercial properties, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Consultation, Council tax, Councillors, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Crime and safety, Democracy, Doing business with the council, Drainage, Elections, Emergencies, Energy efficiency, Environmental health, Epping, Equalities, Food safety, Garages, Grants, Gypsy and traveller, Health, Housing, Housing repairs, Jobs, Leader, Licensing, Local business, Local land charges, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Museum, Noise, North Weald Airfield, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Parking, Performance, Planning, Playschemes, Private housing, Procurement, Prosecutions, Recycling and waste, Regulations, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Tour de France, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Volunteering opportunities, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

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.


Rutting season has begun

Written on . Posted in Animal welfare, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Loughton, Media, Ongar, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Motorists, dog walkers and visitors are advised to be aware that the deer mating season, also known as the rutting season, has begun.

Wild animals (deer) road sign

Rutting season

The rutting season starts late September and peaks mid-October, during the season male deer, or bucks become less aware of their surroundings.

They can be highly aggressive as they are full of testosterone as they attempt to fight off rivals to attract as many females as possible. This makes them less aware of dangers around them, such as cars and bikes on the roads.

Be aware

Councillor Gary Waller, Portfolio Holder for Safer, Greener and Transport said: “Throughout the rutting season, drivers should take great care because there are large numbers of deer about, and sadly people have lost their lives not long ago in our area when cars collided with them at this time of year.”

“Remember that deer may be close at hand even if there aren’t trees on both sides of the road. Deer often move in groups, so if you see one, there are likely to be others following and they may leap out without warning.”


Accidents on the roads involving deer increase at this time of year and drivers should be extra vigilant where there are deer warning signs and slow down when driving through the forest.

Dog walkers

Dogs should be kept on a lead. It is important to keep disturbance of the deer to a minimum and dog owners should be aware that deer can feel threatened by dogs and may also disrupt the deer breeding pattern.


Walkers are advised to keep at least 50m away from deer, never get in between 2 deer and avoid feeding or photographing them at close range.


Changes to pre-application advice fees

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Business, Chigwell, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Epping, Garages, Housing, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Planning, Private housing, Residents, Supporting business, Trees and landscapes, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your environment, Your home

From 1 October 2016 we’re changing our pre-application planning advice charges.

Image of plans

Pre-application advice fee changes

The householder pre-application advice fee is increasing to £80 (including VAT) and we’re introducing a fee of £120 (including VAT) for listed building pre-application advice.

All highway related pre-application advice must be sought from Essex County Council direct.

Costs recovered directly from applicant

We are making these changes to ensure that pre-application advice costs are recovered directly from the landowner or developer, and not as a general cost to the Council Tax payer.


Have your say on Ongar’s trees and green spaces

Written on . Posted in Community, Consultation, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Media, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Residents are being invited to take part in a public meeting to discuss the trees and green infrastructure in Ongar.

Views over Epping


  • Trees and Green Infrastructure – Community Consultation Meeting
  • Monday 10 October 2016 at 7pm
  • Ongar Town Council, Banson, Bansons Way, Chipping Ongar, CM5 9AS

Have your say

The purpose of the meeting is to understand how trees, open spaces, gardens and the urban open areas affect the setting and community in

  • Ongar
  • High Ongar
  • Moreton
  • Bobbingworth
  • Lavers

The outcome of the meeting will feed into action plans which will aims to make a difference locally, so we need you to tell us what’s important to you.

The intention is to improve the quality and experience of green areas and trees in the district. Your views are critical to how we shape the document and, more importantly, make a difference to the community by working together.

More info

Light refreshments will be available. If you wish to attend, please confirm by emailing

First look of our draft Local Plan

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Business rates, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Housing, Licensing, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Older people, Ongar, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Private housing, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Residents and councillors have their first chance to view an advance version of the draft Local Plan before Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet meeting on 6 October 2016.

Website launch infographic

The plan, available to view on the Cabinet agenda from 27 September, is subject to change at Cabinet and the meeting of Full Council on 18 October 2016. Only once agreed with any further amendments at Full Council will the draft be ready for public consultation from Monday 31 October 2016.

First chance to see

Planning Portfolio Holder John Philip said: “This is everyone’s first chance to see what the Plan for consultation will look like but it is important to remember that things could still change between now and the end of October. It won’t be finalised until all councillors have had their final say at Full Council.”

“However, by getting this early draft out a month before the official consultation starts, we are ensuring everyone has as much time as possible to consider the issues before the deadline for responses on 12 December 2016. We don’t want your views yet – not until the draft plan is finalised, but we are looking for as much feedback as we can possibly get once the consultation starts on 31 October 2016.”

Consultation website

A special consultation website has been created to support the Local Plan consultation process. It has been designed to make consultation feedback as simple and straightforward as possible.

Epping Forest District Council is also preparing a leaflet for district-wide delivery to households and businesses in the next few weeks to encourage feedback, as well as holding exhibitions, placing adverts in the local press, handing information cards out at railway stations and sending frequent reminders out on social media.

Local town and parish councils are helping the district council with articles in local magazines, posters on noticeboards and more social media.

Everyone’s Local Plan

John Philip said: “This is everyone’s Local Plan. It is the plan for our future, the future of our children and the future of our grandchildren. It will guide development across the district including where to build new homes and employment for a growing population right up to 2033.”

“It will also seek to protect all the most important things we love and cherish about our district including natural spaces and the Green Belt. Please get involved. Follow the process and give us your feedback.”

Local Plan infographics

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


Help Countrycare bag Tesco’s ‘Bags of Help’ initiative

Written on . Posted in Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Media, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Countrycare is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

Countrycare volunteers at Bobbingworth

£12.5million carrier bag charge fund

Tesco’s has teamed up with Groundwork on its Bags of Help initiative, which see grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to environmental and greenspace projects.

Countrycare’s plans

Countrycare and their volunteers undertake a wide variety of community-based activities and coordinate a regular programme of practical conservation work in our District.

To view photos in a slideshow, click on a picture below and click start slideshow

If given the grant Countrycare will use the money to improve the pond at Nazeing Triangle Local Nature Reserve. The old dipping platform which has become rotten and unsafe will be replaced. The new platform will be wheel chair accessible and will allow people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the pond.

A new board to help people identify what they can see in the reserve will be installed. Pond margins will be planted up with native aquatic species. This will improve the habitat for invertebrates and amphibians encouraging a greater biodiversity in the pond.

Nicola Ceconi Assistant Countryside Manager said: “We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for this grant and are very excited for our project to get underway.”

Cast your vote

Voting is open in stores from

  • 31 October to 13 November
  • Tesco Epping
  • 77-79 High St, Epping CM16 4BA

Tesco customers can cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

Tesco’s initiative

This is the second round of the initiative: the first round saw approximately eight million shoppers vote in Tesco stores up and down the country earlier this year.

Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco, said: ”The first round of the Bags of Help initiative was a fantastic success.

We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for round two. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see them come to life in hundreds of communities”

Groundwork’s national Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said:”Bags of Help is giving our communities both the funding and the support to create better, healthier and greener places for everyone to enjoy.”

More info

Local Plan Planning our Future – website launched

Written on . Posted in Community, Consultation, Democracy, Local plan / planning our future, Media, Planning, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Epping Forest District Council has launched a new Planning Our Future website, so that residents in the District can find out how to get involved in the upcoming consultation for the next stage in the Local Plan process.

Website launch infographic

Planning our future 

Every district is required to have an up-to-date Local Plan, and with a renewed emphasis from Central Government on the need for a Local Plan to be in place in early 2017, Epping Forest District Council will be consulting on its Draft Plan during November and December 2016.

The new Planning Our Future website, will be a one stop shop for all the information about the Local Plan and what it means for Epping Forest District, registering for updates, as well as a quick and easy way to provide feedback.

Give us your feedback

Councillor John Philip, Cabinet Member for Planning Policy at Epping Forest District Council,stated: “This is your Local Plan. Get involved and give us your feedback. Our new Planning Our Future website has been launched two months before the start of the consultation, so that everyone who wants to can get involved in the different events we are holding across the District in November and December.”

Epping Forest District’s Full Council will meet on 18 October to agree whether the Draft Local Plan can go out to consultation for six weeks. If approved, the consultation on the Draft Plan is expected to run between 31st October and 12th December.

This will be a chance to have a say over the direction of the Local Plan document before it is submitted to the Government. The document will be a blueprint for all development in the District up until 2033.

The Local Plan is not simply about how many homes are needed, but guides where the new homes are most sustainably and suitably located in Epping Forest District. It also supports the success of local businesses. It sets out the retail and leisure requirements. It will ensure the right facilities and infrastructure are delivered by developers. It will protect and enhance the District’s natural environment.

Keep updated 

In addition to the new Planning Our Future website, regular updates about the Local Plan will be available via;

Use the #EFDCLocalPlan to join in the conversation.