The earthwork sculpture at Theydon Bois seen from the top of the hill with M11 on the left and new woodland beyond the sculpture.

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Theydon Bois Earthwork Sculpture and Woodland

Visible from the M25 as you pass climb north past Theydon Bois, is this impressive earthwork sculpture and its woodland location, created by the Green Arc and Woodland Trusts. At 130 metres long and three metres tall, it’s quite a landmark!  Artists were invited from across the UK to submit design ideas for the site. The winning artist was Richard Harris, who produced the final design that we recreated on the site.

Richard’s artwork was inspired by tree seeds and has been constructed entirely from soil from the site itself, shaped into concentric seed-shaped mounds.  You can even walk along the top of the three metre high mounds, which will eventually be planted with bushes and shrubs on the sloping sides.

This new woodland was planted between 2006 and 2009 on land that was once part of Epping Forest. It’s already becoming a haven for wildlife. Wander through the young oak, ash, field maple and hornbeam and look out for sparrow, wren and the brightly coloured goldfinch with its red face and flash of yellow on its wing. You may even catch sight of the occasional muntjac deer.

In spring and summer, the wildflower meadow by the small stream becomes a tapestry of colour, with the yellow blaze of cowslip and buttercup sprinkled with pink campion, wild red clover and deep violet self-heal. It’s a great place to spot butterflies as they feast on the nectar. Autumn is your turn for a feast as you can forage for blackberries, rosehips and elderberries as you watch the leaves begin to turn.

Setting

The 38.29ha (94.62-acre) site is just off the M11 motorway, close to the village of Theydon Bois and Epping Forest.

OS Explorer 174; Landranger 177; Grid reference: TQ458980

Access

The entrance to the site is on the Abridge Road, heading out of Theydon Bois just before the M11 flyover. There is a good network of paths through the wood, including two linked public rights of way and a surfaced path.

Getting there

The site is accessible on foot via public rights of way from both Abridge and Theydon Bois. It can also be accessed via the cemetery next door - walk to the top of the cemetery where there is an entrance onto the woodland.

Map & Directions

Road Directions

By car

From Theydon Bois, leave the village heading towrads Abridge on the Abridge Road (B172). Just before passing under the M11 bridge, the woodland entrance is on the left and comprises a locked gate with open gate alongside.

From the M11, take Exit 7 onto the A414 towards Chelmsford/Harlow. At the roundabout, take the exit to the B1393 (London Road). Continue through three roundabouts, then turn left onto Theydon Road and continue to Piercing Hill. Turn left onto the B172 (Coppice Row) and continue on to Abridge Road. The site is on the right just before the M11 flyover.

There is no car park at the site

Public Transport Directions

By bus Regular buses run between Theydon and Abridge. Alight at the cemetery on Abridge Road.

By train The nearest London Underground station is Theydon Bois on the Central Line. The site is approximately 1.6km (one mile) from the station, either along the roadside pavement or via a public right of way.

For up-to-date information on public transport, visit traveline, or telephone 0871 200 22 33.

Theydon Bois Earthworks Sculpture and Woodland

Type:Parkland / Woodland Garden

Abridge Road, Theydon Bois, Essex

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