50 Favourite Trees of Epping Forest District
50 Favourite Trees was developed and completed in 2007 by the Trees and Landscape and Countrycare teams from Epping Forest District Council. We asked the people of the District to tell us about the trees that they thought made life just that little bit better and to explain why. We were looking for the real, personal angle on how trees make a difference. The research basis, demonstrating the importance of trees for our health and well-being was growing rapidly and we were used to using planning powers to safeguard the amenity aspects of trees and their role as habitat for biodiversity. But what we hoped was that residents would share with us the personal reasons that trees mattered to them: the historical or family connections, stories or events that they were part of, or how their particular qualities made a difference. And we weren't disappointed!
We had many entries- some detailed, some brief, from a wide-cross section of residents. We sifted through them to create a short-list, and then were joined by a panel of judges, including Jon Stokes of the Tree Council, David Jackman of The Epping Forest Guardian, Tracy Clark Director at Tim Moya Associates (Tree Experts) and Tony Kirkham and Jon Hammond from Kew Garden who brought a BBC film crew with them.
The 50 winning entries were those that the panel felt had the best stories. These ranged from the Dickens Oak, a huge tree with links to the author, to the Willingale Oak, saved by the passion of the children of Willingale School for their special tree, to the "Welcome Home" tree, on the hill above Theydon Bois, that says "I'm almost home" to one Central Line commuter at the end of his day. The owners of each tree and those who nominated them were all given a carved wooden plaque suitable for mounting and a specially designed poster featuring their tree, designed by local photographer, designer and tree enthusiast John Price.
The 50 Favourite Trees competition is now closed.