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Election results

South of the Forest

Following recent nominations, we are pleased to confirm the re-election of Nicholas Munday and the new election of William Kennedy as Verderers of Epping Forest (South). As nominations were uncontested, both were elected without need for polling. 

Previous Verderer, Dr Jo Thomas, stood down and our sincere thanks go to her for her valued contribution over the last 15 years.

North of the Forest

Following the nomination of four candidates and a contested and well-attended election, we are pleased to announce the re-election Michael Chapman and the new election Paul Morris as Verderers of Epping Forest (North).

Our commiserations and thanks go to Ricki Gadsby and Melissa Murphy for their hard-fought campaign - and again to Melissa Murphy for her contribution as Verderer-elect.

What is a Verderer?

Epping Forest is managed by the Epping Forest and Commons Committee. This committee consists of twelve members of the City of London Court of Common Council who have been elected by wards in the Square Mile. Unlike other committees, Epping Forest's also has four Verderers - two for the North of the Forest, two for the South - who are elected locally and aren't members of the Court of Common Council.

In matters concerning the Forest, Verderers have the same “powers, authorities, rights, and privileges as the members thereof selected from the Court of Common Council, and no other or different powers, authorities, rights, or privileges”.

Members and Verderers give their services in an entirely voluntary capacity and receive no remuneration for their time.

The history of Verderers

From the year 1130, Verderers administered Forest Law on behalf of the King or Queen, literally protecting the flora and fauna of the Forest. Epping Forest ceased to be a Royal Forest when the Epping Forest Act (315KB) was written in 1878; but the authors of that Act decided that the role of Verderer would remain and that they would represent the interests of Commoners: local residents who used the Forest to graze their cattle.

As the character of the Forest has changed, and with the decline in commoning, the Verderers have increasingly considered their role as more widely representing both Commoners and the public living around the Forest.

What is a Commoner?

Commoners are 'owners and occupiers of land and tenements lying within the ancient boundary of Epping Forest (also known as the Perambulation of Charles I)' and within one of the ancient parishes.

Case law made since then limits this a bit more to 'owners and occupiers of land comprising at least half an acre of old enclosure and not covered by buildings and capable of receiving cattle'.

Groups, businesses and organisations who occupy sites also qualify but have to nominate just one representative to vote on their behalf.

Who are our current Epping Forest Verderers?

South of the Forest

  • Nicholas Munday
  • William Kennedy

North of the Forest

  • Michael Chapman
  • Paul Morris
19 March 2012
Last Modified:
27 February 2020