Epping Forest Cattle Grids Decision Welcomed
27 March 2012
The decision means that both authorities can proceed with the installation of the cattle grids as part of the Epping Forest Transport Strategy. The City of London Corporation can continue to progress the implementation of their Grazing Strategy, which received strong support following public consultations in 2005 and 2007, in order to improve the biodiversity of Epping Forest.
Cattle grids are a vital element of the City of London’s Grazing Strategy, as they will help to preserve the uniqueness of Epping Forest and reduce the impact of grazing cattle on the busy roads throughout the Forest.
The importance of installing the four traditional cattle grids, in order to prevent cattle from straying onto the main distributor roads through the forest, was a key reason for pursuing the proposal to a public inquiry.
Essex County Council and the City of London Corporation have actively addressed issues raised by local residents and Forest user-groups. This includes using the most up-to-date grid designs, positioning grids away from residential areas, reducing the number of grids proposed from 13 to four, and trialling the latest, innovative cattle control methods – which will be used in areas with less traffic.
County Councillor Tracey Chapman, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways & Transportation said: “We are pleased with the Secretary of State’s decision to approve the installation of the cattle grids. We look forward to working alongside the City of London on the implementation of the Epping Forest Transport Strategy, and meeting the needs of residents and local interest groups in this unique area.”
Epping Forest and Commons Committee Chairman, Barbara Newman, said: We are delighted to receive the news from the Secretary of State which allows us to proceed with our plans to reintroduce extensive cattle grazing in Epping Forest. We are excited to work towards the restoration of one of the most important wood pastures in Europe, here in Epping Forest, in addition to being able to retain our favourable Site of Special Scientific Interest Status.”
A number of elements of the Epping Forest Transport Strategy have already been implemented, and some considerable results have been achieved. These include reductions to speed limits, road closures and the successful launch of a very popular seasonal bus service last year, which will once again run this summer.
In addition Essex County Council and the City of London Corporation look forward to continuing their effective working partnership with yet more improvements throughout Epping Forest, including the introduction of crossing points to improve access across the forest, and gateways to help those passing through to recognise that they are visiting a special area.