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What is a Verderer?

The office of the Verderer was first introduced almost 1,000 years ago by Saxon and Norman Kings. Verderers administered the Forest Law over the 60 forests used for hunting. The Verderers protected the 'vert' (vegetation) and the 'venison' (the hunting animals, principally deer and wild boar) of the forest.

Today, four Verderers sit on the Epping Forest and Commons Committee which manages Epping Forest. As the only locally-elected members of the committee, Verderers primarily represent local and community interest in the Forest.

How are Verderers elected?

Elections for Verderers take place every seven years. Two Verderers are elected by the commoners of the southern Forest parishes to represent them. A further two Verderers are elected in a similar way for the northern Forest parishes. If any of the Verderers resign or leave office between these elections, the committee may appoint a replacement who can stay in office until the next election.

To qualify as a Verderer, a person must not be a member of the Court of Common Council of the City of London, and must also reside within one of the original Forest parishes.

The next election for Verderers is in 2020.

Who are the present Verderers?

A portrait photo of Peter Adams

Peter Adams

Peter Adams

Peter has lived in a Forest parish since the age of 18 months. In a career that has seen involvement with local authorities at the southern end of the Forest, Peter has developed a close understanding of those communities, building close links with many local community groups. A keen naturalist, Peter has an intimate knowledge of the Forest and regularly leads walks and gives talks.

Contact details

2 High View Close
Essex, IG10 4EG

A portrait photo of Jo Thomas.

​​Dr Jo Thomas

Dr Jo Thomas

Born in the Forest Parish of Chigwell, Jo has lived and worked for most of her life in Loughton, where she also worked as a GP – Dr Jo Ide – for some 30 years. Jo has always been, and still is, a keen and regular Forest walker, dog walker and rider which Jo combines with an involvement in many local charities.

Contact details

North Farmhouse
High Road
Essex, IG10 4JJ

Verderer Michael Chapman

​Michael Chapman DL

Michael Chapman DL

Michael is a Notary Public and Solicitor who has lived all his life either in the Forest parishes of Theydon Bois or Epping. He was educated at Leyton County High and then articled to solicitors in Loughton. Michael is currently Deputy Lieutenant of Essex and a former Chairman and now Vice President of the Theydon Bois Rural Preservation Society. Michael also serves as Chairman of St Clare Hospice and Associate of the Epping Forest Field Centre.

Contact details

Goosebury Hall
Epping Long Green
Essex, CM16 6QN

19 March 2012
Last Modified:
05 February 2018