Wildflower meadow helps boost biodiversity in Epping Forest
As we approach the end of another difficult year, I reflected on the changes that have taken place in Epping Forest.
Such an ancient forest can seem like a constant and everlasting landscape with only the seasons varying it. Of course, on closer inspection, the forest is a center of activity with its immense living biodiversity and taking advantage of this protected environment.
Equally busy in the background are the staff and volunteers who work to conserve and improve the forest while welcoming millions of visitors.
In an effort to be more transparent about the work of our charity, I have had the pleasure of presenting an annual review. This looks back at the challenges and successes of forest management in 2019/20 and the extent to which the objectives have been met, as outlined in Management Strategy 2020-30. Both documents are available on our website and I recommend reading them if you are interested in the number of work areas that contribute to the management of this green space.
Recently, we were excited to plant a 42-acre wildflower meadow on the Epping Forest buffer lands as part of a new climate change program. This project aims to remove carbon from the atmosphere by creating new wildlife habitats through its open spaces. This is part of the City Corporation’s broader climate action strategy, which is committed to achieving zero net carbon emissions from its operations by 2027.
The prairie, not far from High Beach, will trap atmospheric carbon in the undisturbed soil beneath this new permanent prairie, while boosting biodiversity. This only marks the start of more positive and forward-thinking projects to help meet global climate challenges and bring even more biodiversity to this forest which has perhaps never been so vital in its role as a âgreen lungâ. from London “.
As the nights draw near, I’m sure many of you will join me in making the most of the daylight hours by packing up and heading out into the forest for a good walk. Spending time with friends and family outdoors during the holiday season can perhaps be even more highly recommended this year, as we know there are huge benefits to socializing outdoors in terms of reduction in the risk of transmission of Covid-19.
Graeme Doshi-Smith is Chairman of the Epping Forest and Towns Committee of the City of London Corporation.