Police have issued a stern warning to anyone planning on attending an illegal rave this evening.

Essex Police say they have been made aware of a planned unauthorised rave in Epping Forest tonight, Saturday, 6 July. 

In a statement, a spokesman said: "We are extremely concerned for the safety of the public who plan on attending this illegal event and of the wider public in the Epping Forest area should this event go ahead.

"We want to highlight the dangers of this unlicensed and unregulated event to those who are planning on attending, the disruption it will cause to the local community and, equally, the potential for damage to the delicate environment of Epping Forest."

Martin Newnham, Head Forest Keeper and City of London Constable, added: “Epping Forest is a unique environment which has many protected trees, plants and animals.

“Our job is to keep the forest safe and ensure that visitors enjoy their time there responsibly, so that we can continue our important conservation work. The damage to the forest caused by these illegal raves is often irreparable.

“Last year alone, we spent £400,000 cleaning up litter, and after these events we often find drug paraphernalia, alcohol bottles and diesel spills, as well as damage to protected trees and plants.

“For the future of Epping Forest and for the sake of those who enjoy it and aim to protect it, I would urge revellers not to attend this event.” 

Local residents are asked to report any suspicious or concerning behaviour to Essex Police on 101 quoting the incident number 953 of 5 July.