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Epping Forest Hill Fort Survey

Introduction

Epping Forest is the site of two Iron Age hill forts; Loughton Camp and Ambresbury Banks. Constructed sometime between 800-1 BC, they are earthwork structures consisting of banks and ditches.

It is thought the hill forts were used by tribal groups as livestock enclosures and places of refuge. Abandoned after the Iron Age, woodland regrew over the earthworks. The branches of these trees were cut at head height in a process known as pollarding. This happened over the centuries, and the regrowth was harvested on a regular cycle and used for a variety of purposes. Today pollarded trees are still growing on the hill forts. Many of these surviving trees are 300-400 years old and are valuable habitats for rare insects, bats, fungi, lichens and mosses, however their roots may be damaging the historic and archaeological features of these sites.

When the City of London became Conservators of the Forest in 1878, the Epping Forest Act specified that the Conservators must preserve features of the Forest including pollards and ‘ancient remains’ which encompasses the hill forts. In 1979 Ambresbury Banks and Loughton Camp were designated as Scheduled Monuments and given legal protection under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act. Furthermore, most of the Forest is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation which gives it protection. Conservation management plans are in development for these hill forts. We want to know what you value about these two sites in order to inform this process.

Loughton Camp

Loughton Camp - Tapply Apr 15

Location map of Loughton Camp

Loughton Camp - map 2

Ambresbury Banks

 Ambresbury Banks - Gillam Apr 15

Location Map of Ambresbury Banks

Ambresbury Banks - map 2

This consultation has now closed.

Timeline

  • Opened
    1 May 2015 at 00:00
  • Closed
    14 Jun 2015 at 23:59
  • Response Published
    14 Aug 2015