Doing the Lambourne Walk?

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Love walking? Why not join Countrycare for a 4.5 mile guided walk around the beautiful ancient woodlands of the Lambourne estate on 3 June 2017.

Lambourne Walk

  • Date: Saturday 3 June 2017
  • Time: 10am-1pm
  • Where: Meet in the car park of St Mary & All Saints Church, Church Lane, Lambourne, RM4 1AH
  • Cost: £3 per person
  • Book: 01992 564 224 or email contactcountrycare@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Further information

Learn all about hedgehogs with Countrycare!

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Bring your children to a fun filled day with Countrycare, learning all about one of Britain’s most recognisable garden creatures, the hedgehog!

Hedgehog day

Explore a hedgehogs life

Join us to enjoy some hedgehog inspired games, learn how to make your garden more hedgehog friendly and what sorts of food will encourage them to pay you a visit.

Suitable for ages 4 – 11

Booking for this event is essential, so please book to avoid disappointment.

Further information

Countrycare wins an award

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your environment

On Monday 20 March 2017, Epping Forest Countrycare was presented with the North Weald Parish Council group award at the council’s annual parish assembly, in recognition for their work at Weald Common and Thornwood Common.

Countrycare

Work over many years

The award, presented by Cyril Hawkins chairman of the Parish Council, was in acknowledgement of the work Countrycare have carried out for the council over many years.

Nature reserves to enjoy

Countrycare are responsible for keeping our local nature areas accessible for local residents to enjoy, with work being carried out on public footpaths and maintaining the growth of wildflowers.

Some of the maintenance work they have done at the two nature reserves includes;

  • Hedge laying
  • Grass cutting/raking
  • Installing and repairing footbridges and steps
  • Encouraging the growth of wildflowers
  • Construction and maintenance of fences, gates, benches, compost bins, footpaths and ponds

Visit our beautiful reserves

Countrycare maintain 9 nature reserves across the district. You can visit and enjoy these at any time of the year!

Weald common North Weald

Thornwood common North Weald

Chigwell Row wood Chigwell

Church Lane flood meadow North Weald

Home mead Loughton

Linder’s field Buckhurst Hill

Nazeing triangle Nazeing

Roding Valley meadows Chigwell, Buckhurst Hill and Loughton

Roughtalley’s wood North Weald

Spring into activities this Easter

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

If you are looking for fun activities to keep the children busy this Easter holiday, then look no further, we have it covered! We have a range of activities available for all ages and abilities.

Easter Activities page 1

Multi Sports Days 

Come and join our experienced coaches for a day of exciting activities such as

  • Football
  • Dodgeball
  • Tennis
  • Mini Olympics
  • Dance
  • Games and Competitions

Suitable for ages 5 – 14

Dates: Tuesday 4, 11 April 2017 and Thursday 6, 13 April 2017

Time: 09:15am – 15:30pm

Where: Epping Upper Clapton RFC, Upper road, Thornwood, Epping, CM16 6NL

Cost: £16.00

Book online (select the correct heading in brackets for Activity Type on booking form)

Funky Bird Feeder Workshop

Make a bird feeder with a unique difference, using recyclable materials.

Suitable for ages 6 – 11

Date: Tuesday 4 April 2017

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Communities training room, Epping Forest District Council, 25 Hemnall Street, Epping, CM16 4LU

Cost: £4.50

Book online (select the correct heading in brackets for Activity Type on booking form)

Peg Insect and Garden Display

Make amazing peg insect along with an indoor garden scene for your window using fresh flowers!

Suitable for ages 6 – 11

Date: Tuesday 11 April 2017

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Communities training room, Epping Forest District Council, 25 Hemnall Street, Epping, CM16 4LU

Cost: £4.50

Book online (select the correct heading in brackets for Activity Type on booking form)

Forest Adventures

Join us on a forest adventure; orienteering, forest art, scavenger hunts, games and much more!

Suitable for ages 6 – 11

Date: Wednesday 5 April 2017

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Meet outside Kings Oak Public House, High Beech, Loughton, IG10 4AE

Cost: £4.50

Book online (select the correct heading in brackets for Activity Type on booking form)

Play in the Forest

Play games and have fun in the forest; bug hunting, shelter building, woodland arts and crafts!

Suitable for all ages

Friday 7 April 2017

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Meet in the Kings Oak Public House car park, High Beech, Loughton, IG10 4AE

Cost: £3.50

Monday 10 April 2017

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Ditches Rise, Coppice Row, Theydon Bois, CM16 7DR

Cost: £3.50

Book online (select the correct heading in brackets for Activity Type on booking form)

Play in the Park

Play with a range of sports equipment and arts & crafts resources. Suitable for ages 5 – 14. The play in the park team organise fun activities and games! It’s FREE and there is no need to book either! Perfect.

Tuesday 4 April 2017

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Town Mead Leisure Park, Brooker Road, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1JH


Time: 13:30pm – 15:30pm

Where: Roding Valley Recreation Ground (near tennis courts), Roding Road, Loughton, IG10 3BS

Wednesday 5 April 2017

Time: 13:30pm – 15:30pm

Where: Stonards Hill Recreation Ground, Stonards Hill, Epping, CM16 4QF

Thursday 6 April 2017

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Abridge Village Hall Playing Fields, Ongar Road, Abridge, RM4 1BS


Time: 13:30pm – 15:30pm

Where: Shelley Park, St Peters Avenue, Shelley, Ongar, CM5 0BT

Tuesday 11 April 2017

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Ninefields (large green field), Hillhouse, Waltham Abbey, EN9 3EL


Time: 13:30pm – 15:30pm

Where: Roding Valley Recreation Ground (near tennis courts), Roding Road, Loughton, IG10 3BS

Wednesday 12 April 2017

Time: 13:30pm – 15:30pm

Where: Roydon Playing Fields, Occupation Lane, Roydon, CM19 5HL

Thursday 13 April 2017

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Abridge Village Hall Playing Fields, Ongar Road, Abridge, RM4 1BS


Time: 13:30pm – 15:30pm

Where: Jubilee Park, Love lane, Ongar, CM5 9BL

Further information

For more information please contact Community Services on 01992 564226 or email csreception@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Book activities online

Poet wants district’s favourite stories

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Media, Museum, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Do you have a favourite story about the district that you’d like to share? It can be about something personal, historical or just something that makes you smile.

Come and meet our poet in residence Keely Mills and tell her your story of the district. She will be at Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey on Friday 24 February 2017 from 10am to 1pm.

Poet in residence 24-2-17

Poet in residence

Join our poet in residence Keely Mills, share your stories and have them turned into poetry.

Where

Epping Forest District Museum, 39 – 41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL.

When

Friday 24 February 2017 from 10am to 1pm.

Cost

Free.

Paths Unseen

Poet Keely Mills is joining us as part of the Paths Unseen project, funded by Arts Council England.

Paths Unseen supports Keely Mills to develop her poetry, centred around residencies. She will be engaging local communities with poems, particularly those who do not consider themselves writers or  artists, enabling them to tell their stories and encourage them to record or perform the work in their own voices.

This is the first time Keely’s work will appear as the key focus of an exhibition. It is her first publication and major commission outside of Peterborough in Cambridgeshire, spreading her art form further across the East of England.

The Paths Unseen exhibition opens at Epping Forest District Museum on Saturday 24 June 2017.

Anti-litter campaign cleans up for third year

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Doing business with the council, Energy efficiency, Environmental health, Epping, Food safety, Health, Local business, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

An anti-litter campaign across Essex, Kent and Suffolk #BinIt has resulted in a reduction of litter for the third year in a row, an amazing drop in litter of 43%.

Don't toss it - #BINIT

Littering is a criminal offence

The Love Essex campaign, run by the Cleaner Essex Group, is made up of local authorities and local business partners throughout Essex.

This year’s Don’t toss it – #BinIt campaign aims to remind people that:

  • Littering is a criminal offence
  • It comes with a fixed penalty notice from £75
  • And a maximum fine on conviction in court of £2,500

Spreading the message

The ‘Don’t toss it – #BinIt’ message has appeared throughout Essex on

  • Refuse vehicles
  • Bus shelters
  • Petrol pumps
  • 86 McDonald’s restaurants
  • 15 KFC restaurants
  • Spread to 2.4 million social media accounts

This has so far seen an average drop in litter of 43% and helped to reduce branded fast food litter by 63 per cent, in the areas monitored, and independently verified by Keep Britain Tidy.

Tackling litter

Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment Portfolio Holder said: “Litter is an issue that costs around £17 million across Essex. Not only does this take resources away from other much needed council services it also damages our environment.”

“It is important for people to remember that littering is a criminal offence that comes with a maximum fine of up to £2,500.”

“As a community we need to come together and tackle this important issue by behaving responsibly and reporting incidents so we can investigate further and take action.”

Working together

Cherry Lewis-Taylor, McDonald’s franchisee added: “I believe that working together and campaigning against littering at our restaurant locations helps remind people to dispose of their litter responsibly.”

“Between McDonald’s and KFC’s participating restaurants and drive-thru’s, we have reached millions of customers. Adding this to the number of people who saw the other campaign material, including social media, it is likely that the Don’t toss it … #Binit message will have been seen at least 6 million times.”

Do the right thing

Huw James, Director of Kefco, the KFC Franchisee in Essex commented: “I am proud that we at KFC can work with councils and other business partners to actively promote that people should do the right thing and bin their litter. As a business, we are committed to looking at ways we can help reduce the amount of litter that ends up on our streets.”

Report it

If there are large amounts of litter in your street or fly-tipped rubbish near where you live, let us know

Please give as much detail as possible so we can investigate what further action can be taken.

Recycle your real Christmas tree

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Epping, Health, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Recycling your real Christmas tree in January this year really couldn’t be easier!

  • Remove the tree from the pot or stand

  • Remove all decorations and remove any artificial snow

  • If the tree is bigger than 6ft tall, saw in half

  • Place the tree by your green wheelie bin on your food and garden waste collection day

Collected throughout January

Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment Portfolio Holder said: ”We have made recycling your Christmas tree as easy as we possibly can. It’s simple, just leave your tree to be collected with your food and garden waste bins, following the four step instructions. If you are unsure of the date of your food and garden waste collection, check using our online tool, all you need is your postcode. Trees will be collected throughout January 2017.

Great for the environment

He added: ”Our food and garden waste is composted to produce a high quality soil improver which is used on farms to enhance the soil, helping farmers produce high quality veggies. It’s great for the environment and benefits us too!”

Local Plan myth busting

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

Don’t be misled – check all the draft Local Plan facts for yourself on the official Local Plan website” says Councillor John Philip after hearing reports that Epping Forest District Council wants to build all over the Green Belt.

North Weald Local Plan exhibition

Worried by false claims

Councillor John Philip, Cabinet Portfolio Holder responsible for Planning was shocked to find some residents are being unnecessarily worried by false claims about the draft Local Plan.

He continued: “The draft Local Plan is a complex and detailed document. It identifies potential areas for development. Nowhere does it say we are building all over the Green Belt or taking away all our open spaces. Anyone suggesting we are must have fundamentally misunderstood the Plan.”

Residents can find the answers to many questions on the FAQ section of the website. Council staff have been meeting residents to talk about the draft Local Plan at a series of public exhibitions around the district.

Misconceptions

Among the misconceptions some residents have are

  • New council housing

Epping Forest District Council plans to build all the new housing itself –  not true.

Epping Forest District Council is the Planning Authority. It does have a modest council house building programme but the vast majority of new homes will be built by private developers. The Local Plan would help the Council encourage private developers to submit planning applications for the most suitable locations.

  • Build tower blocks

Epping Forest District Council wants to build tower blocks – not true.

It is true that higher density developments take less land to build upon and a balance needs to be struck between how much land is used and the amount of new homes built on it but tower blocks are not on the table.

  • Car parks

Epping Forest District Council wants to take away car parks – not true.

The draft Local Plan identifies local car parks as potential areas for development. Car parks outside the district have managed to make use of the land for new homes while keeping all the car parking spaces.

The Council has confirmed no parking spaces would be lost if car parks were developed for housing with other types of parking such as multi-storey or under-croft.

  • Infrastructure

There is no plan for infrastructure – not true.

Chapter six of the draft Local Plan is devoted to infrastructure and there is a Draft Infrastructure Plan which identifies where there is a need for provision to be made.

Further work on detailed proposals to make this provision will be undertaken between now and the next stage of plan making which is the publication of the Pre-submission Plan next year. This is the normal process for developing infrastructure plans.

  • Green Belt and open spaces

Epping Forest District Council wants to do away with the Green Belt and open spaces – not true.

The Draft Local Plan seeks to identify potential sites for meeting the District’s identified housing need of 11,400 homes over the Plan period. Wherever possible, the Council has sought to propose allocations within existing settlements and to make best use of Brown Field (previously developed) land.

Unfortunately, there is not enough such land available within the district and the council has therefore identified some managed open space and Green Belt land.

But the Local Plan is still a draft. The consultation is an opportunity for local people to agree or disagree with the proposals and to provide evidence to support their views. The Council will consider all comments made before revising the Plan, publishing it and then submitting it for examination by a Government Inspector.

  • Essex County Council

Essex County Council must approve the Epping Forest District Local Plan – not true.

Essex County Council and many other organisations are consulted on the Draft Local Plan. Approval or rejection of the draft Local Plan is made by central-government appointed planning inspectors following an Examination in Public or EiP.

The inspectors will reject the Plan if they do not think the Council has made provision in the plan to meet the housing and jobs requirements which have been identified in the evidence.

  • Brown Field land

Green Belt agricultural land becomes Brown Field when it is ploughed – not true.

It may look brown but in planning terms it is still part of the Green Belt.

  • Minds made up

You have made up your minds. It won’t change – not true.

A look at the previous Issues and Options consultation shows the council does listen. The new draft Local Plan relies heavily on feedback from such previous studies. The Draft Local Plan is the Council’s best attempt at identifying the preferred sites for growth and draft planning policies based on the evidence it has now.

If the council gets new evidence or information through the consultation, this can be used to update and amend the Plan. Opinions are not enough. We need facts and evidence.

  • Deadline

The deadline for responses is 1 December – not true.

The deadline for responses is 5pm on Monday 12 December 2016.

Exhibition photos

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

It’s a two-way conversation and we are listening

John Phillip added: “These are just a few of the things we have heard. It is therefore all the more important that people fact check on the official website. This is a real consultation. It’s a two-way conversation and we are listening.”

He concluded: “Some people have told me I’ve already made up my mind and the draft Plan is set in stone. It is not.”

“I know many people hold different and valid points of view. The most important thing is to stick to the facts and make your voice heard. The best way you can do that is online.”

“If online consultation is not for you, you can complete a paper questionnaire for return to Freepost EFDC LOCAL PLAN RESPONSE or you can email LDFconsult@eppingforestdc.gov.uk.”

 

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 www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/cyclingforhealth or call 01992 564226 for more information.

Local Plan consultation opens

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

The public consultation for Epping Forest’s draft Local Plan is live.

We will be taking your views on the draft Local Plan from 31 October through to 12 December 2016.

Planning Our Future

The Local Plan will guide the future growth of the Epping Forest district to 2033.

The Planning Our Future website is a one stop shop for you to find all the information about the draft Local Plan and what it means for Epping Forest district, as well as a quick and easy way for you to provide us with your feedback.

I want your views

Councillor John Philip Planning Policy Portfolio Holder said: “The draft Local Plan will be the blueprint for the development and conservation within this area. It will guide the location of new housing, employment and infrastructure all the way up to 2033.”

“I need to hear from you. Public consultation on this draft runs from 31 October through to 12 December. You can find all the information you need online.”

A great place to live

Councillor Philip ended: “Tell me what you think and more importantly tell me why you think it. I need good solid reasons that we can use when we go before the planning inspector for our approval.”

“Epping Forest is a great place to live. With your help we can keep it that way.”

Read more