Young volunteers help protect wildlife

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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;