A night walk and a fish and chip supper
The Epping Forest Outdoor Group started doing voluntary work at Copped Hall, near Epping, in 2002, moving masonry from the garden into what were once cellars, but by then were open to the sky. Later we were digging the mushroom earth out of the brick cellars from when it was a mushroom farm. In those days the Hall only had an original concrete floor running from the front door to the rear and a new roof covering the centre of the building. The chimneys could be seen from the cellars, with fireplaces hanging from the walls, and the windows boarded over. As the years have gone by the hall and grounds have become more developed with a derelict building now having rooms starting to be refurbished.
This has led to me, starting a few years ago, leading a night walk around the perimeter of the estate, ending up in the Hall with a log fire lit by Duncan, and a fish and chip supper.
On this year’s walk we had nineteen people walking and several staying in the Hall. As usual we had some of Peter B.’s Scouts, leaders, and parents with us, braving the cold and mud. The walk is only two and half miles, across fields, along a private road, then into a narrow strip of woodland that has a winding path due to trees having fallen over and walkers making alternative routes. I have got mislaid (not lost) sometimes in the past due to this, but not this time. Eventually we came to a tunnel under the M25 then out into more forest. In the past we have seen a huge number of deer in this area, but none unfortunately this time. We come to the track that leads from the front gate to the Hall, warmth and eventually food, but this time with an electric heater, not a fire, in the education room.
Peter G. 10th February 2019