Report of the Superintendent of Epping Forest.
Members received a presentation from the Superintendent of Epping Forest and noted his report summarising the Epping Forest Division’s activities across April to July 2018. The following comments were made:
Staff and Volunteers
· The Superintendent advised Members that recruitment was underway to address a series of staff shortages. It was noted that the team had sadly lost Russell Staffurth and Peter Williamson.
· Epping Forest has received the prestigious Green Flag Award for the 15th time in a row and a Green Heritage Award for 2018/19 from the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.
· The Superintendent advised that the wetter than average April and the very dry and hot summer had had an impact with the Forest reflecting 2% lower than normal on a heat map.
· The Football Foundation has provided a grant of £34,777 to enable the City of London Corporation to develop plans for a hub at Wanstead Flats football.
· Members were advised that fly-tipping and littering had significantly increased over the hot summer months.
· Members were advised that there had been a number of rough sleepers at the Forest over the summer months and that the City of London Corporation was working to find better outcomes to resolve rough sleeping on the Forest.
Deer vehicle collisions
· Members were advised that the number of deer related road accidents was moving proportionally down from 2017.
· The Superintendent advised that the extremely hot weather and lack of rainfall had led to 37 forest fires throughout the summer reaching a damaging burn of approximately 60 acres at Wanstead Flats. The Police and Fire Services were still looking investigating suspected arson at the flats.
· Annual training with the Fire Authority is due to take place in the spring.
Heritage, Landscape and Nature
Report of Superintendent of Epping Forest.
Members received a presentation from the Superintendent of Epping Forest and noted his report summarising the Epping Forest Division’s activities across December 2017 to March 2018. The following comments were made.
Staff and Volunteers
· The Superintendent advised Members that a number of positions have now been filled.
· The Epping Forest Chingford Golf Course and Wanstead Flats Sport turf teams have been successfully restructured to provide more structure and assist with management.
· It was noted that indications suggested that Epping Forest was likely to record a small overspend of £46,000 (1.69%).
· The Superintendent advised that wet winter weather and unseasonable storms had had an impact on the Forest. The cold and wet conditions extended the Closed Riding season which moved to Open Riding from 5 May.
Open Spaces Act 2018
· The Superintendent advised Members that the Bill received Royal Assent on 15 March 2018 and that work was now underway to explore and prioritise new powers of enforcement and licencing letting of vacant premises.
· Members were advised that fly-tipping for the period of December 2017 – March 2018 had had a 42.4% reduction in comparison to the same period 12 months ago and this impact was attributed to the enforcement of fines and carpark improvements.
· Members were advised that the number of rough sleepers had fallen dramatically by 80% and that the City of London Corporation is continuing to work closely with the Police, homeless organisations and the local authorities to resolve rough sleeping on the Forest.
Buffer Land deer count
· Members were advised that the buffer land deer count was lower, and the cull figure was moving proportionally down.
· It was noted that a total of 62 licences for events were issued during the four months being reported.
Heritage, Landscape and