Now that autumn is upon us the ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,’ as Keats so eloquently describes it in his poem To Autumn, we begin to witness the annual spectacle of the changing colours throughout the ancient woodland.

The leaves on the trees, triggered by shorter daylight hours and colder temperatures, start to turn from the greens of summer to glorious golds, beautiful browns and rich reds. Across the woodland floor the pops of bright colours turn out to be some wondrous fungi.

Did you know that two-thirds of Epping Forest is protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation? It is designated as such partly due to some of the rare fungi to be found here. So it is vital that we conserve and protect the fungi that plays such a key role in the biodiversity of ‘London’s Great Forest’.

It is against the by-laws to remove fungi from Epping Forest and at this time of the year our teams are vigilant for anyone collecting fungi, prosecuting those found to be illegally taking it away. We encourage all our visitors to delight in the autumn spectacle but in the same way we leave wild flowers unpicked, the fungi should be left untouched, for others to marvel at and for the wildlife to benefit from.

Epping Forest Guardian:

It is now the deer rutting season and as such drivers should be mindful of the fact that deer are more likely to run out onto the roadsunexpectedly at this time of the year.

Whilst on the subject of driving through the Forest, following the successful roll out of the first phase of car parking charges, we will be implementing the second phase in November. Visit to find out more about the car parks included in this second phase, details of the charges and how to pay and for a full explanation of why we have taken the necessary steps to charge for parking.

Access to the 6,000 acres of Forest remains free, but for those wishing to travel by car we ask a small amount to help to offset the ever increasing costs of managing this busy space. Epping Forest is a registered charity and the income generated from first phase has been reinvested directly in to the management of this unique and very precious ancient landscape.

To understand more about what is involved in running London’s largest open space visit our website You might be surprised at how much takes place to care for our beloved Forest.

Graeme Doshi-Smith is the Chairman of the City of London Corporation Epping Forest and Commons Committee