Park your car for Tour de France

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Epping, Loughton, North Weald Airfield, Ongar, Our attractions, Tour de France, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Your area

Extra parking will be available for spectators planning to watch Stage 3 of the Tour de France in Epping Forest on Monday 7 July.

Many local people will need do no more that step out from their front doors or take a short walk to see the greatest cycle show on earth but if you are one of the thousands of visitors planning to come by car, make sure to plan your route carefully to avoid the road closures. Normal on-street parking restrictions will apply on all surrounding roads.

See the full list of Council-owned pay and display car parks and tariffs. Private and temporary car parking tariffs will vary.


Epping High Street will be closed from 9am

  • Access to Cottis Lane and Bakers Lane Pay and Display car parks will only be available via residential roads from Lindsey Street.
  • Alternative temporary parking at Shaftsbury Farm, Lindsey Street.
  • St John’s School temporary parking – booking advised.

North Weald

  • North Weald Airfield – temporary parking including overnight accommodation for campervans and caravans.
  • Toll House Field, Woodside – temporary parking, overnight camping and secure bike parking. Click here for more information.


  • Temporary parking at Willingale Cricket Club


  • Temporary parking at Bridge Road.


Waltham Abbey

Epping Ongar Railway and London Underground Central Line

  • Residents of Ongar can let the train take the strain with Epping Ongar Railway running steam trains in to North Weald.
  • Visitors to Epping can also travel by train on the Central Line. Visitors prepared for a moderate walk can also hope of the underground at Buckhurst Hill, Loughton, Debden and Theydon Bois.



Latest business briefing published

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Business rates, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Environmental health, Epping, Food safety, Health, Licensing, Local business, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Regulations, Sports, Supporting business, Tour de France, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

To celebrate the Tour de France passing through our district this month, our latest Business Briefing is a special edition, available now to download for free.

The sporting event will provide a unique opportunity for business owners and shopkeepers alike. Thousands of spectators and tourists are expected to line the streets to catch a glimpse of the excitement as the eyes will focus on Epping Forest for a brief but invaluable time. An illustrated, pull-out route map can be found in this edition of the Briefing, as well as tips on how to make the most of this momentous occasion.

As well as highlights on what’s to come from Le Tour, July’s issue looks at the achievements of the Council’s apprenticeship scheme, which provides crucial opportunities for young people to gain the skills and experience they need to give them a helping hand in kick-starting their careers. In addition, are updates from the Chamber of Commerce, Town Centre Initiative Funding, the launch of the Investors in Youth Awards 2014 and more.

Le Tour edition of One Business Briefing (pdf 4.8MB)


Businesses prepared for Tour de France

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Media, North Weald Airfield, Ongar, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Parking, Residents, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Tour de France, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council

From Willingale to Buckhurst Hill, local businesses are making final preparations for the arrival of the Tour de France on Monday 7 July 2014.

Months of planning is coming together as businesses large and small put their final arrangements in place. Some of the district’s most picturesque villages and rural communities will become the centre of attention including Willingale, Fyfield and Moreton. From village post offices, pubs and corner shops to farmers fields offering parking and camping, the rural areas of Epping Forest will be buzzing with activity.

Tour de France Essex Logo

As the Tour reaches North Weald, the crowds of spectators are expected to get very large. Epping Ongar Railway is planning to bring lots of spectators from Ongar to North Weald by steam train. The parking and campervan facilities at North Weald Airfield are sure to bring in more people. In addition to camping and parking, Toll House Field at Woodside, North Weald is also offering secure bicycle parking for the many cycling enthusiasts expected to line the route. Shops in North Weald and Epping are preparing for large crowds.

Visitors can get in to the Tour de France mood early on Sunday 6 July 2014 with a charity cycling event from North Weald Airfield organised by Epping Forest District Council’s chairman, Councillor Tony Boyce, while the annual Epping Town Show and funfair takes place at Stonards Hill.

With High Street parking off-limits on Monday 7 July, Shaftsbury Farm in Lindsey Street, is offering parking just a 10 minute walk from the action in Epping High Street. Parking can also be booked in advance with St John’s School.

Special arrangements to welcome spectators along the Epping New Road are in hand at Miller and Carter by the Wake Arms, The Robin Hood and The Warren Inn in Buckhurst Hill. Staff and customers are planning to celebrate the day in style at Glyn Hopkins Fiat and Nissan dealership in Buckhurst Hill. The ‘bikers’ café loved by motorcyclists, horse riders and walkers at the Robin Hood roundabout will be sure to have hot tea or ice-cold drinks by the gallon depending on the weather.

Town and Parish councils are also making final preparations. Epping Town, North Weald, Fyfield, Moreton, Waltham Abbey, Loughton and Buckhurst Hill are all taking delivery of Tour de France bunting to give the streets a festival feel. Epping Forest District Council has started to decorate the civic offices where the media centre will be based while Epping shops of every size and description are preparing to put on a real show for the day.

Councillor Anne Grigg, portfolio holder for economic development at Epping Forest District Council said: “As we enter the last few days of preparation, you can feel a sense of excitement and anticipation. On 7 July, Epping Forest District will have its own shop-window to the world. Residents and businesses are making their final plans for this once in a life time event. As visitors come to our towns and villages or see Epping Forest for the first time via the estimated 2.2 billion world-wide TV audience, the shops and businesses of Epping Forest are determined to make the day a fantastic success.”

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


Family cycle rides

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Epping, Health, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your council

With the Tour de France coming to our district, Epping Forest District Council is celebrating this great year of cycling. To promote the benefits of cycling to the whole family, there will be 2, day-long family rides as part of the cycling for health programme. As they involve long distances, any young people attending must be competent riders.

Family cycle rides poster

Ride 1 – Olympics Park ride

The second anniversary of the opening ceremony of the 2012 games is on Sunday 27 July. To mark the occasion and this year of cycling, a group cycle ride has been organised. Participants will ride down the Lee Valley to the Olympic Park in Stratford. The route will take in the Olympic White Water site and will then progress through the ever-changing industrial and residential landscape of East London.

After stopping for lunch and a brief tour of the Olympic Park, whilst soaking up some of the best views of the city, riders will head back to Waltham Abbey. The ride is approximately 26 miles long and is open to families. Why not bring a picnic and enjoy lunch in the shadow of the Olympic rings and the great architecture of the Velo Park?


The ride starts at 10am.


Riders should meet at Hooks Marsh Car Park, Fishers Green Lane, Crooked Mile, Waltham Abbey EN9 2ED.

Ride 2 – Tour de Epping Forest

The second ride, the Tour de Epping Forest takes place on Sunday 17 August. This ride will enable you to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of Epping Forest, whilst learning about its vast history and some of the interesting stories of people who call this great area their home.

The route will start at Debden House Campsite and will work its way to the south of the Forest. Lunch will be taken here in one of the most unspoilt areas of East London before climbing up to High Beach and some great views. Please feel free to bring a picnic.


The ride starts at 10am.


Riders should meet at Debden House Car Park, Debden Road, Loughton IG10 2NZ.


Bring your own bike £3 per adult/£2 per child (under 18). Bike hire £6 per adult/£6 per child (under 18).

If you would like more information or a programme of rides, please contact Fabrizio Ferrari on 01992 564567 or email


Dance show ‘eNgage’ is back

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

eNgage 2014 is bursting with energy and talent from the Epping Forest district and beyond.

The annual dance platform ‘eNgage’ is on Tuesday 24 June at 7.30pm at Harlow Playhouse Theatre, it is hosted by the Epping Forest District Council Arts Development.

eNgage at Harlow PlayhouseWith diverse dance styles from contemporary to tap to hip hop and musical theatre and performers ranging from nine-years-old to adult, it guarantees an entertaining evening.

Many new groups are performing this year, including students from DNA Studios, Waltham Abbey and Epping St John’s, who have teamed up with Flashdancers from Ivy Chimneys Primary School for a fantastic routine.

As always eNgage welcomes groups from outside the Epping Forest district. This year sees Hip Hop Pop, Harlow College and Harlow Fields, all from Harlow perform.  Also performing, for the first time at eNgage, is The Boswells School with two all-male dance pieces.


This year the show offers more than dance by introducing a new project Sing!

‘Sing!’ aims to help primary schools develop and sustain extra curricular choirs. For the first time, pupils of Moreton CE Primary School will perform a melody of songs they have been learning with Choral Animateur Chris Wray.

Book now

Tickets are available from the Harlow Playhouse box office.

Call 01279 431945 or visit to book your ticket.

Tickets are £10 full price and £7 concessions for under 16s / students / over 60s - please note this includes a £1 booking fee.


Residents warned after spate of break-ins

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Older people, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your home

Essex Police are urging residents in Waltham Abbey to increase vigilance after a series of daytime house burglaries.

Essex PoliceEssex Police want to hear from you

Essex Police Crime Prevention Officer, Tony Ellis said, “During daytime burglaries thieves need to establish if their intended target is occupied. This is normally carried out by knocking at the front door.”

“If the door is answered thieves will usually make some excuse such as, asking for a fictitious person and then leave. However, if no answer is obtained they will normally look to access either the side or rear of the house out of sight where they can then break in.”

“Essex Police want to hear from you if you experience a caller as described.”

“Don’t wait before you report it as we need to be able to check out cold callers straight away.”

Report a crime

Police can be contacted on the non-emergency 101 number or if the call is urgent always dial 999. You can find out more information on the Essex Police website.


Countrycare records it’s 3,000th veteran tree

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

Last month our Countrycare team recorded the 3,000th veteran tree in the Epping Forest district. By the end of May 2014 the total number of veterans trees recorded is 3,112. This figure includes ancient trees and together with 883 notable trees, the total number of recorded tress is 4,045.

Since 2006 Countrycare and its volunteers and tree wardens have been recording veteran trees in the District as part of a competition to find the 50 Favourite Trees in the district. Trees were nominated by members of the public and judged. 50 trees were selected and a book was produced. This evolved into a project to record as many of the district’s veteran trees as possible.

You can see the database of trees on the 50 Favourite Trees website.

Chigwell Oak

An Oak in Chigwell - 5.9m girth and over 500 years old

Willingale Oak

An Oak in Willingale - 5.7m girth and over 500 years old

Theydon Garnon Oak

Veteran tree in Theydon Garnon - 6.5m girth and over 500 years old

The data shared with the Essex Wildlife Trust to contribute to their biological records database, used to help in planning decisions. It also goes to the Ancient Tree Hunt who map the country and plot the trees on.

Epping and Hainault Forests

The Epping Forest District is blessed with the remnants of the great forests of Essex, which now survive as Epping and Hainault Forests. These 2 areas form a collection of veteran trees of European importance with Epping Forest having over 50,000 veteran trees. These areas were pollarded woodlands (the successive cutting of trees above the browsing height of deer and cattle).

Other woods, such as the Lambourne Woods near Abridge, were coppiced. But the widespread practice of pollarding was not confined to the forests and has left us with a legacy of many old worked trees. They mark the skeleton of the ancient countryside as they are found in the oldest hedgerows and mark the boundaries of the oldest woodlands. 

Even one veteran native tree can be a wildlife habitat in its own right. It is well known that Oaks host a huge variety of species, but it is only the big old trees with holes in the stem and decayed heartwood, that do this. Recording and mapping these trees will inform us of habitat connectivity between ancient woodlands and allows us to view the District at a landscape level. 

Veteran tree

Helen Read, Veteran Tree Initiative 1999 – “The term veteran tree is one that is not capable of precise definition but encompasses trees defined by three guiding principles. Firstly, they are of interest biologically, aesthetically or culturally because of their age. Secondly, they are in the ancient stage of their life (the last third) and lastly that they are old relative to others of the same species.”


Transitions project successfully delivered

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council

Following on from Transitions Epping Forest 2013, Transitions Essex brought together artists and staff from four Essex care homes to work together, share ideas and create ways to engage with people living with dementia.

TE Launch 38

The project has encouraged care staff to bring creativity into their work with the aim of improving the quality of life, wellbeing and health of their residents. 4 artists worked on the project over an 8-month period; Nicola Esson, David Little, Helen Morse Palmer and Amanda Westbury. They were partnered with 2 care staff from Anisha Grange, Billericay; Beech House, Basildon; Evelyn May House, Langdon Hills and Woodbury Court, Laindon. 

A free online resource pack entitled ‘Journeys in the Moment: Engaging Older People and People Living with Dementia’ will be available at the end of June 2014 for other care homes to use as inspiration.  It will include over 30 ideas and tips to use with a group or on a one to one basis to enhance interaction and improve wellbeing of care home residents.

Transitions Essex was delivered by Epping Forest District Council and funded by Essex County Council.


Tour de France Question & Answers – 12 June

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Tour de France, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

The Tour de France comes to Epping Forest on Monday 7 July 2014.

Residents and business people can find out more about Stage 3 of the Tour de France at Epping Forest District Council.

A team of officers at the Civic Offices in Epping High Street will be available between 6.30pm until 8.30pm on Thursday 12 June 2014 to answer questions about the route and the management of the race.

Tour de France Essex Logo

Cycling is now one of the biggest sports in the UK. Many thousands of enthusiasts are expected to join residents and visitors lining the roads of the District to cheer the riders on. The Tour is completely free to view. 

Le Tour information

  • The Tour de France is the world’s third largest sporting event
  • It is customary to start the race outside France and the Grand Depart returns to the UK this year for the first time since 2007
  • Stage 1 and 2 will cover large areas of Yorkshire before the Tour heads south for the start of Stage 3 in Cambridge

Caravane Publicitaire

  • The race will be preceded by a Caravane Publicitaire, a carnival of media and sponsors vehicles full of colour and noise
  • Travelling through Saffron Walden and Finchingfield before skirting Chelmsford and Roxwell, the Caravane is expected to enter Epping Forest District near Willingale at about 12.25pm
  • The race itself is expected about 2 hours later

Festival in your village

  • Villages and towns on the route are planning different ways to welcome the Tour. In France, the Tour is turned into a festival over several days
  • Epping Town Show takes place on Sunday 6 July and the Fun Fair is staying overnight to extend the celebrations into Monday
  • North Weald is expecting day-trippers from Ongar to arrive via steam train on the heritage Epping and Ongar Railway while visitors by car will be able to park at North Weald Airfield
  • Special celebrations are being planned in smaller villages on the route such as Moreton (including extra temporary parking) and Fyfield
  • At Willingale Cricket Club, the organisers of temporary parking are also laying on hot food and drink at the Village Hall
  • People are expected to make their way on foot from as far as Theydon Bois, Waltham Abbey, Loughton and Buckhurst Hill to watch the race which travels through the Forest from the Wake Arms roundabout down the A104 Epping New Road to Woodford

 Epping High Street

  • Epping High Street is expected to draw the biggest crowds, many arriving by train via the Central Line to Epping Underground Station
  • Forklift trucks and delivery vehicles will be working from early in the morning as the race organisers and world’s media prepare for the excitement of the sprint section down the length of the High Street

Road closures

  • Road closures will make travel across the district difficult
  • The route following country lanes north of Ongar and the A414 to the Talbot roundabout at North Weald will be closed from 8am
  • The route south of the Talbot closes at 9am and is not scheduled to reopen until 5pm

Truly amazing

Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Epping Forest District Council said: “7 July is going to be truly amazing. The district has never seen anything like it and might well never do so again.”

“Thousands of residents and visitors are preparing to enjoy the day with family and friends but if you run a business or are a resident with special concerns, the staff at the council will do their best to help you organise yourself around the day. Just pop in to see us between 6.30pm until 8.30pm on 12 June for an informal chat.”

Essex County Council and Epping Forest District Council are working together with many partners including the Tour organisers and Government to raise public awareness. Detailed information is available on a range of websites. Leaflets and letters have been sent out while posters have been distributed to local shops and businesses.

For more information go to Essex County Council or Tour de France Epping Forest.


Improved services with new refuse contract

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Councillors, Epping, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Ongar, Recycling and waste, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Your area, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Improved services and large savings are expected after the decision by the council to award a new ten year contract to Biffa Municipal Limited for the collection of domestic refuse and recycling and street cleaning. In addition to annual savings of over £400,000 a year, the introduction of new technology, new vehicles and new working practices, including a 4-day collection week to avoid Bank Holiday Monday disruption, is anticipated to result in environmental and service improvements.

The decision was taken by the Cabinet of Epping Forest District Council at a special meeting on Monday 19 May 2014.

Alderton Junior winning artwork

Competitors for the contract

Biffa beat an initial list of 8 competitors to the contract, including current contractor Sita UK, most of whose local staff will transfer to Biffa under the terms of the contract. The final decision was based on an equal assessment of price and quality, with all the short-listed companies submitting competitive bids.

When will Biffa start?

Biffa will start emptying the District’s wheelie bins on 3 November 2014. The new Tuesday to Friday collection service will start in March 2015.

What to recycle and when will it be collected?

Epping Forest residents are amongst the ‘greenest’ in the country, recycling over 250kg per household each year. Bidders were invited to investigate different ways of collecting local refuse and recycling but the current system of two wheelie-bins, sacks and a blue box has proved to be one of the best and there are no plans to change this.

  • Food and Garden Waste Wheelie Bin – collected weekly
  • Residual Waste Wheelie Bin – collected fortnightly
  • Blue Box – for glass, collected fortnightly
  • Sacks – All other dry recycling collected fortnightly

Residents will also be able to recycle tetrapaks, batteries and small electrical items for the first time.

Langston Road, Loughton redevelopment

In March 2015, Biffa will transfer from the current council-owned depot in Langston Road to its own depots in Edmonton and Waltham Cross. This will move forward the redevelopment of the Langston Road site as a new retail park, providing employment for local people and generating more long-term income and savings for Epping Forest District Council.

Great news for Epping Forest residents

Contract negotiations were led by Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council, and Council officers.

Councillor Breare-Hall said: “This deal is great news for Epping Forest residents and our District. Our new contract with Biffa promises residents an innovative, improved, more responsive service that respects what they like best about our current provision, and helps us keep their Council Tax low. I want to put on record my thanks to Sita UK for the great job they have done, but it is essential we keep striving to improve. This new partnership with Biffa offers even better services to residents, reductions in environmental impact, and helps us to maintain our record as one of the UK’s top recycling authorities.”