Autumn’s Crowning Glory in Epping Forest

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“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

George Eliot

Many poets and authors have been inspired by nature at this wondrous time of the year.  It is easy to feel their inspiration as you step out into Epping Forest, particularly on a crisp and clear autumnal day.

Epping Forest’s Head of Conservation, Dr. Jeremy Dagley advises when the colours in the Forest this year will be at the best: “Given the autumn so far, the best colours are likely to be late October and early November.  Hornbeam, especially the seeds, are turning now and beech should be at its best with intense yellows towards the end of the month.  The oak will often turn later still and I’d highly recommend a trip to Barn Hoppitt (opposite Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge and The View, on Rangers Road, Chingford) around mid-November where you are likely to witness some amazing orange hues.”

For a great view across the Forest canopy how about a visit to Woodbury Hollow in Loughton?  The area south of Loughton Camp, one of the Forest’s two Iron Age earthworks and a Scheduled Monument, is well worth a visit too and there you can witness some great shades of yellow with the beech trees, offset against a green moss carpet.  Other great areas to take in the autumn colours are the Warren Plantation, the beech woodlands around Monk Wood and the Furze Ground, close to Broadstrood car park.

The autumn leaves on the Forest floor make a trip to Epping Forest with the children this half term even more enjoyable than usual.  Just add wellies for free and wholesome fun for all the family to enjoy together.

Why not follow Epping Forest on Twitter (@COLEppingForest)?  Keep up to date with the shades of autumn and share your images of this ancient woodland in its crowning glory too!