Epping Forest worth £1.9bn to society over 50 years – report

Epping Forest worth £1.9bn to society over 50 years - report

Epping Forest includes ancient semi-natural woodland, old grassland plains, heathlands and wetlands, the City of London Corporation says

Epping Forest has been valued at £1.9bn to society over the next 50 years by a consultancy firm.

Natural Capital Solutions, a company specialising in biodiversity, assessed the health, air and water quality benefits of the woodland.

The forest is about 8,000 acres in size and stretches from Essex into Greater London.

The City of London Corporation, which conserves the forest, said “we must all redouble our efforts” to look after it.

“This report enables us to think about what the cost of damage to the forest might mean for us as a society,” said Ben Murphy, chairman of the corporation’s Epping Forest and Commons Committee.

The report calculated that the forest’s health and recreation benefits were worth £50.7m each year and its ability to capture carbon in the atmosphere was worth £4.1m annually.

The corporation said the forest was nine times the size of New York’s Central Park and attracted more than 10 million visitors per year.

It is home to more than one million trees, including 50,000 ancient pollards of beech, hornbeam and oak.

Eight listed buildings and four scheduled ancient monuments can also be found there.

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