Walks And Walking – Essex Walks Oak Trail Epping Forest Walking Route
The Oak Trail offers an opportunity to enjoy a beautiful area of Epping Forest and some of its surrounding Buffer Lands. The route passes some magnificent veteran beech pollards, areas of wood pasture, Ambresbury Banks and the Deer Sanctuary covering just under 7 miles taking me exactly 2 hours to complete.
When I left the house for the short drive up to Theydon Bois it was a chilly day with clear blue skies. I was hoping to see some deer and capture some really good Autumn photographs of Epping Forest but it soon turned grey and started to rain.
The walk starts at Theydon Bois tube station and quickly takes you onto Great Gregories, one of the City of London’s Buffer Land areas currently used for in-house grazing of our conservation cattle. A lot of the trail will follow defined paths, surfaced rides, fields and Forest with directional posts as guides. When I walked The Oak Trail today there were no sign of any of the green arrow signposts so I was glad I had my OS map with me.
The remains of an Iron Age Hill Fort and, according to legend, it is the site of the last stand by Boudicca against the Romans in AD61. The fort covers an area of approximately 11 acres and was once surrounded by a 6ft single bank and a ditch.
Founded in 1959, it is home to a herd of black fallow deer. The Sanctuary covers approximately 140 acres. Forest Keepers lead Guided Walks around the Sanctuary: please see the Epping Forest Events Diary. For further details telephone 020 7332 1911.
Some 1778 acres of Buffer Land has been acquired to protect the Forest from encroaching development and to maintain the links between the Forest and the wider countryside. Regular inhabitants include fallow and muntjac deer, hares and skylarks.