Leaf-peeping in Epping Forest

October 15th 2018
By: Melanie Hollidge
Leaf-peeping in Epping Forest

If we were in the US you wouldn't be asking what the heck is Leaf-peeping? Indeed you have probably already been involved with leaf-peeping around your Chigwell, Loughton or Woodford property without even knowing it! 

Leaf-peeping is simply strolling through the autumn woodland, admiring the leaves as they turn from the fresh greens of summer to the yellows, reds and golds of autumn. And better still you don’t have to go all the way to New England to engage with it. It’s here on your doorstep a stone’s throw from central London in the wonderful Epping Forest. 

If you want to get supper specialised you can even join Cathy McLoughlin is an experienced Environmental Educator and Lloyd Park Walthamstow's Community Gardener on Wednesday 24th October 2018 for a relaxing walk to enjoy Epping Forest’s beautiful autumnal colours and learn the names of trees and plants as you wander. 1.30pm to 3.30pm. Free. No booking required. This event is for adults (19 years+) only and sets off from The View, 6 Rangers Road, Chingford, London E4 7QH

To get you up to speed for your walk out from your Chigwell, Loughton or Woodford home you might want to know a bit about why leaves change colour. It’s all down to chemical changes that occur in the leaves. During summer, they are busy making food for the trees by producing sugar from light, carbon dioxide and water, using chlorophyll, which gives leaves their summer green colour. 

The change in temperature at the beginning of autumn triggers the trees to cease chlorophyll production. This allows other, hidden pigments in the leaves to reveal themselves,  carotene makes leaves turn yellow, while anthocyanins which is found in large quantities in maples make the leaves go red. 

The brightest autumn colours are produced when dry, sunny days leading up to the beginning of autumn are followed by cool, dry nights. So we should be in for a treat when we head out leaf-peeping in Epping Forest this autumn.