Clean for The Queen

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Councillors, Biffa representatives and council waste management staff donned gloves and brandished litter pickers and sacks as they contributed to the Clean for The Queen campaign in Loughton today.

Leader of Council Chris Whitbread and Environment Portfolio Holder Councillor Will Breare-Hall helped to collect litter from the verges in Rectory Lane.

Clean for the Queen

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Clean for The Queen

Vacuum your villages! Spruce up your cities! De-litter the land!

Clean for The Queen is a campaign to clear up Britain in time for Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday, which will be officially celebrated in June 2016.

Litter pick groups have been organised in Matching, Ongar, Theydon Mount and Willingale as well as by residents groups from Oakwood Hill in Loughton and Ninefields in Waltham Abbey.

Let’s take care of our environment

Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment Portfolio Holder said: “We’re committed to keeping Epping Forest district a clean and attractive place all year-round,  so we’re delighted to be supporting the Clean for The Queen campaign.”

“I know a number of local town and parish councils and residents groups are also getting involved with their own litter picks, and it’s not too late for others to join in. We’d love to help promote their work.”

“If everyone disposed of their rubbish properly we could both improve our environment and reduce this unnecessary cost to the taxpayer.”

“It’s important that everyone takes responsibility for their rubbish. Let’s take care of our local environment and keep Epping Forest a beautiful place to live, work and visit.”


Young volunteers help protect wildlife

Written on . Posted in Animal welfare, Community, Councillors, Countryside and wildlife, Media, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Performance, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Volunteering opportunities, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Epping Forest Youth Councillors along with young volunteers cleared 5 tons of woodland in just 6 hours during their school half term break.

Epping Forest Youth Council volunteering at Chingford Plain

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Project Nightingale

The young volunteers worked under the guidance of The City of London and Epping Forest District Council’s Youth Engagement team to clear an area of woodland, returning it back to grassland as part of Project Nightingale, The City of London’s project working to create favourable habitats for nightingales and other songbirds. Cutting back scrub plants such as blackthorn and hawthorn, together with young tree species such as oak, birch and willow.

These plants will regrow into a thick bushes open to the sunshine. Without the scrub habitat many of Britain’s declining songbirds may be lost from the Forest forever.

The block of scrub the young volunteers worked on is one of several in the area which will be cut on rotation over the next few years. Creating a mosaic of differently aged plants with a range of heights and thicknesses.

In the last few years, several pairs of nightingales have returned to Epping Forest as a direct result of scrub management regime.

Seeing the difference

Youth Councillor Joseph Pascoe said ‘we had a great day, it was exhausting but also exhilarating, as we cut back so many trees, you could really see the difference we had made also not many people can say they had a BBQ in the forest in mid February’.

Volunteering opportunities

The day was funded by the Jack Petchey Education Fund.

To find out about volunteering opportunities, please go to;

Green volunteers maintain district’s beauty

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The amount of time local people give to volunteering for Countrycare, the council’s Countryside Management Service, increased by 10% last year up to near record levels.

Countrycare volunteers at Bobbingworth

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A total of 739 days of voluntary work were given in 2015 this equates to 4,434 hours donated. In financial terms at a rate of £7 per hour this has saved the council £31,038. 55 people volunteered during the year including 8 people who were new to volunteering. Work is carried out in all conditions whatever the weather throughout the year.

52 tasks have been completed at 20 different sites across the district. Chigwell Row Wood and Roughtalleys Wood in North Weald were visited the most often with 7 visits each. In 2015 the Countrycare team have worked with

  • 6 Parish and Town Councils
  • Essex Wildlife Trust
  • Woodland Trust
  • Harlow District Council

Making a difference in their local community

As well as routine maintenance of the Reserves they have replaced all of the benches and repaired fencing in Roughtalleys Wood, installed new steps to make access to the site easier at Weald Common, constructed a boardwalk at Linders Field, Buckhurst Hill and constructed and installed bat boxes at Bobbingworth and bird boxes at Norton Heath.

The new Community Orchard for Loughton was cleared and a variety of new trees planted by the volunteers. They also carried out wildflower surveys at all of the Countrycare reserves.

Countrycare is very appreciative of the work and effort put in by its band of volunteers in all weathers and has tried to make the work interesting and varied throughout the year. Indeed 5 volunteers attended over 40 of our tasks in the last calendar year.

A great volunteering opportunity

Councillor Gary Waller, Cabinet member with responsibility for Countrycare said: “We’re so grateful to our Countrycare volunteers who donate their time to ensure Epping Forest’s green spaces are maintained, as well as working hard to provide habitats for an abundance of wildlife.”

“Epping Forest Countrycare offers great volunteering opportunities, meeting every Thursday come rain or shine, with transport arranged so anyone can join in. If you’re interested in being outdoors, keeping fit and making a difference in your community, as well as socialising with likeminded people, get in touch.”

Get involved

Countrycare can tackle more ambitious and challenging management work on the 9 Local Nature Reserves and other Local Wildlife Sites because of the support, experience, dedication and support of its volunteers.

Interested in becoming a Countrycare volunteer?

Find out how you can get involved