A group of organisations dedicated to preserving Epping Forest have joined together to call for a pledge to protect it.

The group, convened by Epping Forest Heritage Trust, asks for councillors and council candidates to "show their love for the forest" when it comes to their decision-making.

The trust wants the councillors representing where the forest lies to sign up to four promises over the coming weeks.

This includes ensuring all relevant decision making "considers the needs of the forest now and for future generations" and to work to reduce levels of pollution.

Members also call for better accessibility to the forest, such as sustainable transport modes, as well as to promote the forest in absorbing carbon dioxide to help tackle climate change.

Chairman of Epping Forest Heritage Trust, Judith Adams, said: "This campaign celebrates our common ground – literally. No matter what party you represent or vote for, whether you represent an urban or rural place, we share our love for Epping Forest.

"This is a great chance for those running to be the custodians of our areas and communities to show how they will help to preserve and protect the Forest for now and generations to come."

The group includes the trust as well as Epping Forest Transport Group, the Wren Conservation Group and Bushwood Park Residents Association.

James Heal, chairman of Wren Wildlife & Conservation Group, added: "The value of Epping Forest as the lungs of London, as a place of natural diversity, and as a place of historic significance cannot be overemphasised.

"The Wren Wildlife & Conservation Group warmly supports this initiative to encourage deeper commitment to its protection and greater recognition of its value."