Wanstead’s Tarzy Wood celebrated with festival

The Friends of Wanstead Parklands had a stall today (16 July 2017) at the Tarzy Woodfest, a community led festival sponsored by Epping Forest.

Tarzy Wood is a small detached fragment of Epping Forest, at the junction of Wanstead High Street and New Wanstead, adjacent to the Wanstead War Memorial Green. It contains a variety of tree and plant species, dominated by pedunculate oaks and hornbeams, as well as a large, grassy clearing.

The Wood's informal name comes from an incident in the nineteenth century. The owner of nearby Spratt Hall attempted to enclose the site with the intention of selling it off for development. However, local people tore down the tarred fence he erected, and the plan was abandoned. Since 1878, Tarzy Wood and the rest of Epping Forest have been under the care of the City of London, and public access is guaranteed in perpetuity.

Tarzy Wood has suffered over recent years from littering and the uncontrolled growth of scrub. Earlier this year local volunteers and members of the Wanstead Society engaged in selective clearance work and removal of rubbish. The object was to encourage biodiversity and make the wood a more attractive and welcoming place to visit.

To celebrate this little-known piece of woodland and promote positive usage, Epping Forest sponsored today’s Tarzy Woodfest. Attractions included bouncy castles, stalls and woodland activities for children. Adults were catered for by a bar and barbecue provided by popular local pub The Duke.