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Lakes and Ponds

Epping Forest has more than 109 lakes and ponds. They vary in size and age but all provide important habitats for numerous species of flora and fauna, as well as enjoyment for visitors to the forest.

Visitors can enjoy the unique scenery these lakes and ponds provide as well as getting up close and personal with nature.

Most of these lakes are manmade. The majority were created through gravel extraction, with the gravel used to build roads around the forest, though a few were the result of bombs in the Second World War. The remainder were created as part of designed landscapes, including the Ornamental Water, Knighton Wood Lake and Highams Park.

Find out more

Explore the walking trails that circle some of our lakes and ponds, including some of our easy access paths.

Plenty of our multi-user paths, also suitable for horse riders, cyclists, walkers and runners, also pass by many of our lakes and ponds.

Angling is allowed in 24 of our lakes and ponds and is a popular activity.

Visitors can also try their hand at boating on Hollow Pond.

Enjoy refreshments at cafés and picnic areas near the lakes.

Get involved

We have a number of volunteer roles available where knowledge and care for the Forest's bodies of water can be helpful. See our volunteer roles for more information.

  • Cyclist by the lake
    cyclist by the lake in epping forest


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