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…In Redbridge!

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Hainault Forest Country Park is in the early stages of a £6m restoration project which will see it undergo a programme of work focusing on four key areas – investment in biodiversity, landscape and buildings, works to re-focus the popular children’s zoo and to improve the range of activities on offer for visitors.

Nature walk

On 9 December 2017 a group joined Francis Castro, Senior Ranger and Project Manager at Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure, for a guided winter stroll around Hainault Forest. In beautiful winter sunshine, over the course of two hours, they learned about the flora and fauna, as well as the restoration plans.

In January 2017, the HLF announced support of £4.5m, including development funding of £218,800, for Hainault Forest Country Park’s “Hainault Ancient Forest – a Landscape for the Future” project. The Council will also contribute £1.25m to the project with a further £250,000 from Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure. This brings total investment to £6m. When the project is complete, it is envisaged that Hainault Forest Country Park will be enabled to become financially self-sufficient, and the current Council subsidy will end.

Tree walk

Covering a total of 800 acres, Hainault Forest includes 250 acres of greenbelt, ancient woodland and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It is the last fragment of a medieval Royal hunting forest established by Henry I that included Hatfield and Epping.

The forest is also pivotal for local and regional wildlife. To date, 158 species of bird have been recorded in the forest including turtle doves, bullfinches, and three species of woodpecker. There are also more than 940 species of invertebrates such as butterflies and dragonflies, 79 of which are nationally scarce.

Friends of Wanstead Parklands member Richard Arnopp, who went on the walk, said –

“Hainault Forest is important both as a haven for wildlife and a much-needed recreational space for Redbridge’s growing population. It is also a historic landscape with ancient trees, including many pollards, which bear witness to its long management as wood-pasture”.

Richard continued –

“Francis Castro (Vision RCL), the London Borough of Redbridge and the HLF are to be congratulated for this initiative. We hope that the “Hainault Ancient Forest” project will guarantee the future of this special place for many years to come”.

Camelot Path Hainault Forest Country Park is managed by Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure on behalf of the London Borough of Redbridge.




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Claybury Park Coppicing

Here’s a shocking fact for you: a stocktake of UK wildlife has shown that nearly all our species are struggling to survive and that one in three have halved in numbers in the past 50 years.  Right across the UK our wildlife is in rapid decline due to the loss of their habitats and pollution.

It’s not just wildlife we are losing its plants too, our nature is in serious trouble and we need to do something about it.  Can you imagine a Britain with no birds, no plants, no insects, no fish? Do you want to? As Sir David Attenborough said in an interview with the Guardian, We should all be proud of the beauty we find on our own doorstep”.

Help us keep our nature thriving by volunteering at our conservation events. On Thursday 24 October we will working in Claybury Park to improve the woodland for wildlife. Come and have a go at coppicing – a woodland management technique in which the wood from a tree is harvested by cutting the tree to near ground level. The tree will then regrow over a period of years without needed to be replanted.

This free event is for adults and will be taking place between 10 am – 2.30 pm. If you would like to join us please meet at the Gate on Ravensbourne Gardens, near to junction with Wedmore Avenue IG5 0XF.

If you have any questions please give us a buzz on 020 8559 2316 or visit the Redbridge i conservation pages for more information.

Post Author: Emily Polling

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Roding Valley Woodland Management

Did you know that over 300 species of plant currently face extinction? That an area equivalent to the size of 16 football pitches is destroyed in the tropical rainforest every minute? Experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years.

We are rapidly losing our green spaces, losing spaces that provide us with vital elements such as oxygen. We need to do all we can to save our environment, and it starts at home. If it is going to take under 40 years to destroy the rainforest, which used to cover 14% of the planet, then how much time is going to take to completely urbanise Britain – a much, much smaller land mass… Could we be looking at half the time?

Do your bit for the environment and look after the precious few green areas we have left. Come and get involved with our project to re-invigorate the patch of woodland in Roding Valley Park adjacent to Roding Lane South. Your helping hands will be greatly appreciated! The tasks will involve thinning, dead hedging and clearing any rubbish.

Just think if everyone does a little everywhere, we could save our planet.

This free event is open to adults. Work starts at 10 am and will continue until 2.30 pm. If you would like to join us then please meet on Tuesday 22 October, outside the scout hut adjacent to the allotment site opposite Leigh Avenue, Roding Lane South.

For more information please call 020 8559 2316 or visit the Redbridge i nature pages.

Post Author: Emily Polling