Connaught Water is one of the most popular lakes to walk around in Epping Forest. It was designed by the Conservators as an amenity in the late 19th century. Large numbers of duck and geese winter on Connaught Water and swans, geese, great crested grebes and ducks breed on the lake. Summer migrants include nightingales. The path around Connaught Water and the car park off of Rangers Road in Chingford, have recently been landscaped as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded Branching Out Project and is now fully accessible – have a look at how that happened and who helped us out. Connaught Water is part of Epping Forest owned and managed by the City of London Corporation.

My name is Henry Duck the Landscape Architect employed by Chris Blandford Associates. We've been working throughout the forest as part of the HLF scheme of improving facilities access requirements throughout the forest ranging from car parks in Bury Road and Chingford hub, through to access trails at Connaught Water and High Beach. A key part of the works at Connaught Water is the addition of a new boardwalk which is undertaken by volunteers and scouts, work land planting and habitat promotion will improve the overall biodiversity and allow interaction between users and the water as a whole. We are building a boardwalk here today. It's
the construction task for the Scout Project We're trying to help promote access for all, around the pond here. We're trying to bring people closer to nature. The scouts are going to learn lots of skills through doing this and it's also a great social occasion bringing people together from
all over the country and giving them a chance to really make a difference. Well, we've been
thrilled to be involved with this project. [It's been] twenty-four years now, the Scout project! And our role really is to organise all these conservation
activities and it's great fun. The scouts gain two things I think from coming to the project. The first thing is they gain real
practical skills in conservation by working with people like Ash from the
Centenary Trust. They also get a great sense of camaraderie. They make new friends, they develop themselves both physically and mentally and spiritually too to get the best active on one another
really and the friendships they built are lifelong. They are not just about today or this week. Basically, you've got a pathway, a surface pathway that goes around and this area that we are working in now actually gets really boggy during the winter and we wanted to give the public a choice, basically! So they can either walk along
the route around, stay on the normal path or they can actually cross the water by going across the broad walk. Well, other works that have been going on: obviously we've put a better surface pathway around which is easier access for people. We have made habitat improvements. All done by our glorious volunteers. Hi, my name is Rob and I am with the Explorers. We have been helping putting down some decking so that the disabled people can get across the pond, so it's good to work with all different people and using different tools this time compared to last time. I think it's really helpful making friends and leading a group. Because I've been on so many years they have made me a leader, so I have had to sort of step up because I normally prefer to follow instructions as oppose to give instructions so… and it's always great to meet new people, because we got friends that we have known for, like, five years that we only see once a year, so it's nice to come back.

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