Epping Forest (district)

Epping Forest (district)

Epping Forest is a local government district of the county of Essex, England. It is named for Epping Forest, of which the district contains a large part. It lies to the north of Greater London, but is not part of it.


The north east of the district is rural and sparsely populated for an area so close to London; it includes the town of Chipping Ongar and surrounding villages. The south, closer to London, is more suburban and, although entirely outside the area of the Greater London Authority, is sometimes considered to form part of the Greater London Urban Area.

The whole district is part of the London Commuter Belt and includes the towns of Loughton (the largest town in the district), Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Epping, Ongar and the commuter villages of Theydon Bois and Abridge. To the west is the town of Waltham Abbey, which lies in the Lea Valley.


The district was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of Chigwell Urban District, Epping Urban District and Waltham Holy Cross Urban District, along with most of Epping and Ongar Rural District. Since then there have been some changes to the Greater London boundary:

* In 1994, 279 acres, which now form Enfield Island Village, were transferred to the London Borough of Enfield [Office of Public Sector Information - [http://www.opsi.gov.uk/SI/si1993/Uksi_19930441_en_1.htm The Essex, Greater London and Hertfordshire (County and London Borough Boundaries) Order 1993] . Retrieved on 23 February 2008.]

* In 1995 a small area around Grange Hill tube station was transferred to the London Borough of Redbridge. [Office of Public Sector Information - [http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si1993/Uksi_19932091_en_1.htm The Essex and Greater London (County Boundaries) Order 1993] . Retrieved on 23 February 2008.]


The district can be traced on maps by reference to the M25 motorway and the M11 motorway which form a junction at Theydon Garnon. From the junction the town of Loughton and the town of Buckhurst Hill are south west, Chigwell is south, Waltham Abbey is west, Epping north west, and Ongar north east.

Rail transport in the district is provided by the Central Line of the London Underground and the West Anglia Main Line [http://www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/community/transport/default.asp] . Further National Rail stations are available at Harlow, Sawbridgeworth and Bishop's Stortford, along the District's boundary.

The stations in the district are:

* Buckhurst Hill tube station
* Chigwell tube station
* Debden tube station
* Epping tube station
* Grange Hill tube station (on the boundary with Redbridge)
* Loughton tube station
* Roding Valley tube station (on the boundary with Redbridge)
* Theydon Bois tube station
* Roydon - The only National Rail station within the district.

Unlike the position on the Metropolitan Line outside Greater London, where a special fare structure exists, each station in the district is in one of Travelcard zones 4, 5 or 6. This is because Essex County Council have agreed a subsidy scheme with Transport for London similar to that with the London boroughs, whilst neither Hertfordshire County Council nor Buckinghamshire County Council have done so. From 2 January 2007, the stations on the "Hainault Loop" in the southern part of the district (Roding Valley, Chigwell and Grange Hill), which had previously been in Travelcard zone 5, were reallocated to zone 4 in an attempt by Transport for London to encourage greater use of this section of the line. Until November 2006, services to Roding Valley, Chigwell and Grange Hill stopped at around 8pm but since then the service has run to around midnight. However, the service to these stations is still not as frequent as in Greater London.

The Central Line used to have an extension from Epping to Ongar, with intermediate stations at North Weald and Blake Hall. However, patronage on this line was never high, and it ceased to be a part of the London Underground when it closed in 1994, with the remote Blake Hall station having closed 13 years earlier, in 1981, reputedly having only served six passengers a day. The line was nonetheless reopened in 2004 as the Epping Ongar Railway, which runs heritage services on Sundays and bank holidays.

North Weald Airfield, a Battle of Britain airfield, is owned by the District Council, and has a long runway allowing use of jet aircraft. Stapleford Aerodrome [http://www.flysfc.com] is another local airfield, and offers pleasure and charter flights.


As of 2006, the members of parliament for the district are Eleanor Laing (Conservative) for the Epping Forest constituency, whilst Eric Pickles (Conservative) sits for the Brentwood and Ongar constituency, covering the east of the district, and the area around Nazeing and Sheering lies in the Harlow constituency represented by Bill Rammell (Labour). Of the seven Essex County Councillors elected for Epping Forest divisions in 2005, six are from the Conservative Party and one is non-aligned.

Local government

The district council is now based in Epping, a town roughly in the centre of the district. Its offices were previously located in Loughton.

2007 Local Election


Buckhurst Hill East (last election in 2006)

List of places in Epping Forest district

* Abridge
* Buckhurst Hill
* Chigwell
* Chipping Ongar
* Debden
* Epping
* Loughton
* North Weald Bassett
* Roydon
* Stapleford Abbotts
* Stapleford Tawney
* Theydon Bois
* Waltham Abbey


A track on Genesis's 1973 album Selling England by the Pound is entitled "The Battle of Epping Forest", and refers to a real-life East End gang-fight in the forest.


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