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Local wildlife sites

Local wildlife sites (LoWs)

Local wildlife sites (LoWS) are ‘a discrete area of land which is of significance for its wildlife features in at least a district / borough / unitary authority context’.

Wildlife Sites were identified and declared by the Essex Wildlife Trust following a phase one habitat survey of the district in 1991 (revised 1996, 1998 and new full review 2009). They were formerly known as sites of importance for nature conservation (SINCs) or county wildlife sites. The Epping Forest District has 222 Local Wildlife Sites.

Local nature reserves (LNRs)

Why not visit one of Epping Forest District Council’s local nature reserves?

Our 9 local nature reserves (LNR’s) are all varied and home to a diversity of wildlife from wildflower meadows to fens, ancient woodlands and ponds. So, take a visit where you can breathe fresh air, take a stroll or simply sit, admire the views and absorb the peaceful sounds of nature.

Under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, district councils have the power to designate sites of nature conservation interest as statutory local nature reserves.

LNR’s are intended for both people and wildlife and they are places that can simply be enjoyed and where people can have contact with, study and learn about nature.

EFDC’s first LNR, the Roding Valley Meadows, was designated in 1986, and is also a special site of scientific interest (SSSI). The Reserves range in size from the largest LNR at 56 hectares (Roding Valley Meadows LNR) to the smallest, but still diverse, at 0.6 hectares, Nazeing Triangle LNR.

Your local nature reserves are

Sites of Nature Conservation Value managed by Countrycare

In addition to the District’s nine Local Nature Reserves (LNR’s), Countrycare has historically managed several other sites of high nature conservation interest.  These have been ‘adopted’ and managed by staff with the practical assistance of volunteers from the local community.

A further 12 sites are managed by Countrycare, some of which are also Local Wildlife Sites (LoWS). These sites have been identified for their special flora and fauna and have a county or regional wildlife value.  In this District LoWS are considered when planning applications are submitted.  The LoWS selection was made by the Essex Wildlife Trust in 2009-10.  The Trust identified 222 sites in total.

Over the years, Countrycare has teamed up with several parish councils, landowners and other conservation organisations to manage a number of LoWS or other sites.  Below is a list of the sites to which Countrycare has a long-term management interest:

  • Bobbingworth Former Landfill Site, Bobbingworth
  • Civic Offices Pond, Epping
  • Tree Top Meadow, Epping
  • Epping Green Millennium Garden, Epping Upland
  • Willingale Road Community Orchard, Loughton
  • Norton Heath Common, High Ongar
  • Foster Street Burial Ground, North Weald
  • Thornwood Common Nature Area, North Weald
  • Ongar Community Orchard, Ongar
  • Spring Ponds Wood, Ongar
  • The Copse, Sheering
  • Abbotts Wood, Waltham Abbey
  • Old Shire Lane, Waltham Abbey
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