It is a transitional time here in Epping Forest as we move from the flowers and grasses of late summer, into the autumn months, which many may agree is indeed the time of the ancient woodland’s ‘crowning glory’.

To bridge the gap between the vivid colours of the wildflowers to the wondrous autumnal hues of later October and November, we look to the forest floor where the forms and shades of various fungi do not disappoint.

Fungi play an extremely important role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem in London’s great Forest. They are an incredible species which work in partnership with other plants, decomposing organic matter and effectively nutrient recycling, as well as providing food for many woodland creatures.

The vastly diverse range of important fungi to be found in Epping Forest, including some extremely rare species, is one of the reasons much of Epping Forest is protected as a Special Area of Conservation and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Visit the Forest and enjoy finding and marvelling at this interesting autumnal spectacle, but leave the fungi where you find it, for others to enjoy seeing, and for the woodland habitat to benefit from.

Another seasonal event you may hear, see evidence of or encounter as you visit at this time of year is the deer rut.

This activity takes place after the autumn equinox, which this year is September 23. The deer rut is when the male deer compete for females. You may hear more frequent low ‘barking’ resounding through the Forest, as the bucks become increasingly vocal, attracting the does to them and warning off other males from their territory. Sometimes, when males challenge each other a rut will take place resulting in a dramatic display as they lock antlers.

We ask all those driving through the roads which dissect Epping Forest to keep in mind that the deer may be preoccupied and increasingly active at this time of the year and this can result in more incidents of deer suddenly crossing roads. Ensure you keep your speeds down on the Forest roads and be mindful of the possibility that deer can suddenly emerge from the woodland.

We hope you will enjoy visiting this beautiful open space and encourage you to share your photographs with us on Twitter @CoLEppingForest, Facebook @Epping Forest City of London and Instagram @coleppingforest.

Graeme Doshi-Smith

Chairman, City of London Corporation Epping Forest and Commons Committee