What is happening at Connaught Water car park?

The City of London Corporation seem to think that they can open or close these, and other gates to car parks in Epping Forest, whenever the mood takes them.

The gate to this car park has been regularly closed during the summer months at 7pm with the sun still high in the sky, just when people are home from work and wishing to take an evening stroll, perhaps with their dog.

The final straw, prompting I believe a series of irate phone calls to the corporation, was last Sunday when a man in a corporation vehicle came along and shut and padlocked the gate at 4pm while people were trying to get in.

This is not good enough. The corporation must be reminded that they manage the forest for the recreation and enjoyment of the people and must not enclose it.

They have already gone some way to enclosing it with the construction of a fence, supposedly for the enclosure of long horned cattle (which are not actually native to Epping Forest). Whilst I am not against the idea of a car park gate, which will go some way to preventing fly tipping, etc, I object to access being restricted on an ad hoc basis. Opening and closing times must be posted and adhered to.

If the Corporation wishes to prevent anti social activities in this car park it should consider mounting cameras to film the perpetrators, not punish the ordinary people of the Epping Forest district, who merely wish to take advantage of this rather lovely spot in our forest.

Martin Gale

Bradwell Road, Buckhurst Hill