Epping Forest

We are very lucky that we get to take our visitors into such a beautiful area within Epping Forest. Since we opened in 1967, we have facilitated over 750,000 visits. Epping Forest is an ancient woodland, with two thirds of it designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). We hope that you enjoy reading the information below to compliment your visit to Suntrap.

  • Caring for the forest

    We all have a responsibility to care for the places we visit. Everyone has an impact and we want to make sure it’s a positive one! Find out how you can ‘tread lightly’ in Epping Forest by following these tips.

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  • Trees and other plants

    The main trees found in Epping Forest are the deciduous trees hornbeam, oak, beech, and the evergreen tree, holly. Each habitat has its own special group of plants, which in turn, provide food and shelter for other living things.

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  • Habitats- ponds & streams

    Epping Forest is a very special place because it has so many different habitats. This means it provides a home to a great variety of living things. Ponds are a great place to visit for wildlife spotting.

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  • Habitats - grassland & heaths

    Epping Forest is a very special place because it has so many different habitats. The grasslands and heaths of the forest are important habitats for many plants and animals.

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  • Invertebrates

    Epping Forest is home to an amazing variety of invertebrates (animals without a backbone). This is largely due to the diversity of habitats. The ancient trees and dead wood are home to some very rare species like the stag beetle.

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  • Vertebrates

    Vertebrates (animals with a backbone) are often spotted in our grounds and in the forest. This could be deer, a basking grass snake, newts and lots of birds. If you are lucky enough to stay in our camping pods you may spot or hear a tawny owl or a bat (10 of the 18 species found in Britain have been recorded here).

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  • Fungi

    Fungi are different to plants but just as fascinating and important. Epping Forest is home to over 1600 species of weird and wonderful fungi. Picking them is not allowed in the forest but they are amazing to look at.

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  • Geology

    Epping Forest lies on London clay (you may see it exposed on the bank of the stream). Some hills in the forest have layers of claygate beds and bagshot sands; giving different soil types which affect the plants that grow there.

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  • Forest management

    Epping Forest is managed by the City of London for people and wildlife. The habitats of the forest are maintained by activities like pollarding, occasional coppicing, grazing by cattle, mowing of meadows and pond clearance.

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