Tree Fest

Tarzy Wood. ©Geoff WilkinsonTarzy Wood. ©Geoff Wilkinson

A community festival in Tarzy Wood this month will offer residents of all ages the chance to climb up – and above – the trees of this often overlooked woodland. Epping Forest Keeper Alison Tapply reports.

There is a small area of woodland nestled between the hustle and bustle of Wanstead High Street and New Wanstead known as Tarzy Wood. It gets its name from the tar-covered fence that was erected in the 1800s in a vain attempt to enclose and build on the land. Outraged locals tore the fence down and since then Tarzy Wood has become part of Epping Forest, owned and managed by the City of London Corporation.

What, to some, may seem a formidable place to enter from the outside, taking a stroll up one of the paths you will pass by large, majestic oak trees and onto a small grass plain in the middle. The road melts away; the sound of cars is replaced by birdsong. A place of beauty and relaxation, it is well worth a visit. A lunchtime picnic in the middle, perhaps? Or why not join the fun and celebrate this often overlooked woodland between 10am and 5pm on Sunday 16 July at the Tarzy Woodfest?

Enjoy local community group stalls, live music, food and drink. There will be storytelling, bug hunting and bushcraft workshops for children running throughout the day. But you will also have the chance to try something new. Children can enjoy the wonderful opportunity to climb with the Forest's arborists and sit amongst the tree branches in our children's tree climbing sessions. For adults, you can watch the tree canopy shrink as you rise to 100 foot above Wanstead and take in panoramic views of the city in our tree canopy experience!

Admission to Tarzy Woodfest is free but some activities are chargeable. The workshops can be booked on the day, but the children's tree climbing sessions and the tree canopy experience must be booked in advance (tickets will not be available on the day).

Local volunteer group #TidyTarzy have been working hard over the last six months, in conjunction with the Epping Forest Keepers and Vision Redbridge Ranger Team, to improve pathways and access to Tarzy Wood, creating clear sight lines to encourage people in to enjoy it. Epping Forest is a registered charity, run mainly on donations from the City of London Corporation at no cost to the taxpayer. If you would like to get involved with #TidyTarzy, you would be most welcome (email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

Tarzy Woodfest will take place on 16 July from 10am to 5pm (free entry). Time slots for the children's tree climbing sessions (£5) and adult tree canopy experience (£10) must be booked in advance. Visit or call 020 7332 1911

blog comments powered by Disqus