6 May: Epping Forest Opens Up

Queen Victoria thrilled the locals with a personal appearance on May 6th 1882, to dedicate Epping Forest, near London, as ‘the people’s forest’. 


It was a pivotal moment in the preservation of green space for public recreation – as industrialisation around the capital lead to increasing swathes of land being developed for profit.

In this episode, Olly, Rebecca and Arion explain how, at one time, as much as one-third of the landmass of Southern England was considered a ‘Royal Forest’, why breaking the rules could land you in ‘forest court’ – and reveal the modern-day criminals chasing after the park’s mushrooms…


Further reading:

• British Pathé commemorates the glories of Epping Forest (1943) –


• ‘The Day Queen Victoria Gave Epping Forest To The People’ – https://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/1452517.day-queen-victoria-gave-epping-forest-people/

• The arch that was built to commemorate the visit – https://www.eppingforestguardian.co.uk/news/18753957.queen-victoria-visited-chingford-epping-forest-dedication/