Cycling in Epping Forest

The new draft Epping Forest Cycling Strategy aims at encouraging responsible cycling in the Forest. Cycling is permitted throughout Epping Forest, with the exception of Wanstead Park. Epping Forest has 284km of shared-use paths which makes it a great place to explore by bike.

The Epping Forest Cycling Code of conduct :

  • When cycling in the Forest, we ask that you follow our cycling code of conduct
  • use the shared-use trails considerately to ensure the safety of others
    • let people know you are there with a greeting or bell
    • give priority to pedestrians and horse-riders
  • approach corners and descents with caution as dogs, wildlife and cattle may cross your path unexpectedly
  • do not race bicycles
    • this includes digital KOM/QOM ‘chasing’
  • do not build or dig jumps or berms or cut trees
  • leave no trace of your visit
    • use the existing routes and avoid skidding to prevent erosion
    • take your litter home
  • close gates behind you to prevent cattle straying

Cycling in Wanstead Park

The current regulation forbidding cycling in the Park is incongruous with the rest of the Forest.

The Friends of Wanstead Parklands and City of London agree that cycling in the Park has become a ‘free for all’ and clearer revised guidelines are necessary

Many lively responses to an article in the September edition of the Wanstead Village Directory showed a majority in favour of more shared-use routes in the Park.

The City of London have now indicated they wish to move from the current restrictive model to one which better reflects the time and will develop a separate Cycling Policy for Wanstead Park. Once various strategies for achieving a more harmonious situation have been considered, consultation with the public will follow in July 2021.

This will be YOUR chance to have a say!

Friends of Wanstead Parklands (FWP) will be acting as a consultative body with Epping Forest and will suggest three options for consideration:

  1. A shared-use ‘commuter’ route between Northumberland Avenue gate and Warren Road gate. This allows people to cycle straight across the Park to tube,shops,school etc using a path already used by motor vehicles.
  2. A shared-use leisure circular route on existing informal paths for families to enjoy.
  3. Consider allowing responsible cycling anywhere within the Park.
Wanstead Park cycling map

Complaints about cyclists in the rest of the Forest are rare. This would put the Park in line with practice in the rest of the Forest thus avoiding further confusion over which paths are permitted and which are not.

This article previously appeared in the Wanstead Village Directory

2 responses to “Cycling in Epping Forest”

  1. I do not agree with having cycle routes around the park. There are many dog walkers and families who like to walk around the proposed route and many of the paths are too narrow with tree roots protruding. It would tempt younger cyclists to race around the often muddy route and disturb wildlife and peaceful walkers. You say it would not be permitted to race but who would stop them? Are you asking City of London to pay for wardens 24/7? I am happy with the route from Northumberland Avenue to Warren Drive as that is already a hard surface path and serves the purpose of getting to the Tube.

  2. All 44 varied and interesting comments from Park users so far received have been passed on to the City of London for their consideration. A balanced proportion were printed in our Winter Members’ Newsletter. There was an explosion of cycling in the first lockdown which has now calmed down since the onset of winter conditions. Any changes made by the City will be on a trial basis to see how it works.