Council officials have threatened an anti-social behaviour crackdown following numerous large gatherings in High Beech over the last few months.

Over lockdown the green space outside the Kings Oak pub in High Beech has been swarmed – on numerous occasions – by social distancing flouters determined to drink in large groups.

The City of London Corporation (CoLC), which maintains Epping Forest’s green spaces, has warned potential High Beech party-goers it is working with the police to address “anti-social behaviour” in the area.

The authority has pleaded with people to not treat the ancient woodland in a dustbin.

Following one High Beech gathering at the end of June, council officials spent hours clearing empty alcohol bottles, food wrappers and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) cannisters.

A CoLC spokesperson said: “There is no excuse for leaving litter in Epping Forest and we are urging everyone to be considerate and respectful to the environment.

“If the bins are full, we are asking people to take their litter away with them.

“Our forest keepers have been patrolling jointly with the police to address the anti-social behaviour in High Beach and new ‘Code of Conduct’ signs inform visitors of how to respect the forest environment.”

In recent weeks Essex Police have stepped up patrols in the area, however this has not discouraged young people from turning up in their hundreds to listen to loud music, inhale nitrous oxide and drink.

The CoLC spokesperson added: “As well as substantially increasing our hours of litter picking we have provided skips to make it even easier for visitors to dispose of their waste.

“We’re delighted to welcome new and returning visitors as lockdown restrictions are eased, but ask everyone to act responsibly to help us protect and conserve the ancient woodland.”

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