Hainault Forest

Country park

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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
Hainault Forest is located in Greater London
Hainault Forest
Location within Greater London
LocationGreater London
Grid referenceTQ477938
Coordinates51°37′18″N 0°7′45″E / 51.62167°N 0.12917°E / 51.62167; 0.12917Coordinates: 51°37′18″N 0°7′45″E / 51.62167°N 0.12917°E / 51.62167; 0.12917
Area135.31 ha (334.4 acres)
Location mapMagic Map
Natural England website
Woodland path — a public footpath in the park.
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]


With an area of 135.31 hectares (334.4 acres),[2] Hainault Forest Country Park is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.[3]

The Redbridge section of the park is managed by Vision Redbridge who manage the park on behalf of Redbridge Council. Across the border, the Essex section is managed by the Woodland Trust, who hold a long term lease for the management by its owners, Essex County Council.[1][4]


Hainault Forest is a remnant of the former Forest of Essex which once covered most of the county of Essex in SE England. Epping Forest and Hatfield Forest are two other remaining examples. The forest belonged to the abbey of Barking until the Dissolution of the Monasteries;[5] it extended northwards to Theydon Bois, east to Havering-atte-Bower, on the south to Aldborough Hatch,[6] and westwards to Leytonstone.[7] In a survey made for Henry VIII in 1544 its extent was some 3,000 acres (12 km2).[8]

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.

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.[9]


After public pressure to retain some remnant of Hainault Forest, headed by Edward North Buxton,[10] 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 Foxburrows Farm — which is used in part for preserving rare breeds of animals.


See also


  1. ^ a b "HAINAULT FOREST". hainaultforest.co.uk.
  2. ^ "Hainault Forest SSSI". Natural England. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Natural England citation, Hainault Forest" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  4. ^ "Hainault Forest". Woodland Trust. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  5. ^ Barkingside preserves the connection.
  6. ^ Hatch, a gateway to the forest preserve.
  7. ^ N. D'Anvers, The Historical Outskirts of London 1907, p. 72
  8. ^ "Hainault Forest Website". hainaultforest.co.uk.
  9. ^ Rackham, Oliver (1994). The History of the Countryside. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0297833925.
  10. ^ Mr Buxton is credited in D'Anvers 1907, p. 72.

External links

Original content from Wikipedia, shared with licence Creative Commons By-Sa - Hainault Forest