Hainault Forest

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Hainault Forest
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Hainault Forest Country Park, The Lake - geograph.org.uk - 602653.jpg
The large lake in Hainault Forest Country Park
Area of Search Greater London
Grid reference TQ477938
Area136.0 hectares
Notification 1986
Location map Magic Map
Woodland path -- a public footpath in the park. Woodland Path, Hainault Forest Country Park - geograph.org.uk - 798643.jpg
Woodland path — a public footpath in the park.
The forest path into Hainault Forest from Lambourne End, on a November morning Hainault Forest Geograph-273877-by-sarah-white.jpg
The forest path into Hainault Forest from Lambourne End, on a November morning

Hainault Forest Country Park is a Country Park located in Greater London, with portions in: Hainault in the London Borough of Redbridge; the London Borough of Havering; and in the Lambourne parish of the Epping Forest District in Essex. [1]

Greater London County of England

Greater London is a ceremonial county of England that forms the London region. This region forms the administrative boundaries of London and is organised into 33 local government districts—the 32 London boroughs and the City of London, which is located within the region but is separate from the county. The Greater London Authority, based in Southwark, is responsible for strategic local government across the region and consists of the Mayor of London and the London Assembly. The City of London Corporation is the principal local authority for the City of London, with a similar role to that of the 32 London borough councils.

Hainault, London suburb of east London, England

Hainault is a large suburban housing estate in northeast London in the London Borough of Redbridge. It is located 12.5 miles (20.1 km) northeast of Charing Cross. Most of the housing in Hainault was built by the London County Council between 1947 and 1953. Originally spanning the parishes of Chigwell, Dagenham and Ilford, in 1965 the area was combined in a single London borough and became part of Greater London. It is adjacent to the Metropolitan Green Belt, bordered on the east by Hainault Forest Country Park and to the north by open land and the boundary with the Epping Forest District of Essex. For postal addresses, it is split between the Chigwell and Ilford post towns and it is within the London 020 telephone area code. The area is served by London Underground's Central Line.

London Borough of Redbridge London borough in United Kingdom

The London Borough of Redbridge is a London borough in East London, England.



With an area of 336 acres (136 hectares), Hainault Forest Country Park is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. [2]

Site of Special Scientific Interest Conservation designation denoting a protected area in the United Kingdom

A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Great Britain or an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) in the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland is a conservation designation denoting a protected area in the United Kingdom and Isle of Man. SSSI/ASSIs are the basic building block of site-based nature conservation legislation and most other legal nature/geological conservation designations in the United Kingdom are based upon them, including national nature reserves, Ramsar sites, Special Protection Areas, and Special Areas of Conservation. The acronym "SSSI" is often pronounced "triple-S I".

The Redbridge section of the park is being developed by the Redbridge Council as a country park. The Essex section is managed by the Woodland Trust, who are contracted to do so by its owners, Essex County Council. [1] [3]

Woodland Trust Woodland conservation charity in the UK

The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the United Kingdom concerned with the creation, protection, and restoration of native woodland heritage. It has planted over 43 million trees since 1972.

Essex County Council British administrative body

Essex County Council is the county council that governs the non-metropolitan county of Essex in England. It has 75 councillors, elected from 70 divisions, and is currently controlled by the Conservative Party. The council meets at County Hall in the centre of Chelmsford. It is a member of the East of England Local Government Association.


Hainault Forest is one of the remaining sections of the former Forest of Essex in England. Epping Forest and Hatfield Forest are other remaining examples. The forest belonged to the abbey of Barking until the Dissolution of the Monasteries; [4] it extended northwards to Theydon Bois, east to Havering-atte-Bower, on the south to Aldborough Hatch, [5] and westwards to Leytonstone. [6] In a survey made for Henry VIII in 1544 its extent was some 3,000 acres (12 km2). [7]

The Forest of Essex was a royal forest that existed from around 1100 and was disestablished in the 13th century.

Epping Forest royal forest

Epping Forest is a 2,400-hectare (5,900-acre) area of ancient woodland between Epping in Essex to the north, and Forest Gate in Greater London to the south, straddling the border between London and Essex. It is a former royal forest, and is managed by the City of London Corporation. An area of 1,728 hectares is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation. It gives its name to the Epping Forest local government district, which covers part of it.

Hatfield Forest biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Essex, three miles east of Bishops Stortford, England

Hatfield Forest is a 403.2 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Essex, three miles east of Bishop's Stortford. It is also a National Nature Reserve and a Nature Conservation Review site. It is owned and managed by the National Trust. A medieval warren in the forest is a Scheduled Monument.

The forest land was condemned as waste by an Act of Parliament, 1851, disafforested, the deer removed, and 92% of the old growth forest cut down. The land became marginal agricultural land and subsequently a significant proportion has been built on. The destruction was deplored by Sir Walter Besant in his works on London: the forest is also the setting for his novel All in a Garden Fair.

An act of parliament, also called primary legislation, are statutes passed by a parliament (legislature). Act of the Oireachtas is an equivalent term used in the Republic of Ireland where the legislature is commonly known by its Irish name, Oireachtas. The United States Act of Congress is based on it.

Walter Besant English novelist and historian

Sir Walter Besant was a novelist and historian. William Henry Besant was his brother, and another brother, Frank, was the husband of Annie Besant.

Oliver Rackham described how the outrage at the destruction of Hainault led to the modern conservation movement with the creation of conservation groups which successfully opposed such a fate happening to Epping Forest.

Oliver Rackham

Oliver Rackham, was an academic at the University of Cambridge who studied the ecology, management and development of the British countryside, especially trees, woodlands and wood pasture. His books included Ancient Woodland (1980) and The History of the Countryside (1986).


After public pressure to retain some remnant of Hainault Forest, headed by Edward North Buxton, [8] a total of 804 acres (3.3 km2) of land was bought for public use on 21 July 1906. It included 253 acres (1.0 km²) of woodland and rough pasture.

Hainault Forest Country Park protected areas include: open space parklands — with numerous public footpaths and a large lake; Hainault Forest Golf Club; and Fox Burrow Farm — which is used in part for preserving rare breeds of animals.

See also

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  1. 1 2 "HAINAULT FOREST". hainaultforest.co.uk.
  2. "Natural England citation, Hainault Forest" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  3. "Hainault Forest". Woodland Trust. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  4. Barking Side preserves the connection.
  5. Hatch, a gateway to the forest preserve.
  6. N. D'Anvers, The Historical Outskirts of London 1907, p. 72
  7. "Hainault Forest Website". hainaultforest.co.uk.
  8. Mr Buxton is credited in D'Anvers 1907, p. 72.

Coordinates: 51°37′18″N0°7′45″E / 51.62167°N 0.12917°E / 51.62167; 0.12917