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Great Monk Wood and Deershelter Plain

Deershelter Plain is grazed by our conservation herd of longhorn cattle between June and July. If you see our cows while in the area, please be mindful that they are livestock and not pets, keep your distance, and keep dogs on leads around them.

Great Monk Wood appears in written history as far back as the 13th Century, and owes its name to Waltham Abbey and Stratford Langthorne Abbey both of which once felled trees here. Across this vast period of time, the lay of the land has remained largely unchanged. Prominent beech pollards dominate the wood alongside oaks, hornbeams and birch.

Toward its north edge, woodland gives way to former heathland in the form of Deershelter Plain, so named for the deer shelter where deer were once fed here through the winter. Deer still roam here today.

Things to do in Great Monk Wood and Deershelter Plain

  • Explore the area on foot, by bike, on horseback or with your dog
  • Pick up our Beech Trail to head to High Beach or Loughton Camp
  • Enjoy watching the nightjars, redstarts and tree pipits
  • Keep an eye out for deer and other Forest wildlife
Epping Forest map PDF (256KB)
Date submitted: 20/11/19
Beech trail PDF (590KB)
Date submitted: 20/11/19

Parking and travel info

By car

Parking is available at these car parks:

Car park name Nearest postcode what3words address
Wake Valley IG10 4AF ///solo.paper.clean
Goldings Hill IG10 1SF ///
Mount Pleasant IG10 1JD ///woods.fluid.major

Please visit our car parking page for opening and closing times for each of our car parks.