First female Superintendent of Epping Forest appointed


Following a competitive recruitment process, Jacqueline Eggleston has been appointed Superintendent of Epping Forest.

Epping Forest is designated by UK Government as an internationally important site, is a European Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Area of Conservation, and one of the few remaining extensive ancient forests in the south of England.

The Epping Forest Act 1878 appointed the City of London Corporation as Conservator of Epping Forest and the charity’s corporate trustee.

The Superintendent is responsible for the delivery of the charity’s strategy and vision, management of a team of 100 staff and hundreds of local volunteers. They are also responsible for managing a budget of £31m over the next five years, in addition to capital projects of £6.5m and asset maintenance of £10.6m.

Jacqueline, who has served as interim Superintendent since November 2023, brings a wealth of experience to the role, having been part of Epping Forest’s senior management team for the last nine years, leading on the site’s visitor experience and countryside management.

In previous roles Jaqueline led the refurbishment and landscaping of nearby Fairlop Waters Country Park and worked as a commercial manager in the London Borough of Redbridge, managing public buildings and visitor facilities.

Prior to this, she was Redbridge’s cultural development manager, leading on community engagement, starting her career working on public rights of way and community development projects in rural Norfolk.

Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Epping Forest and Commons Committee, Ben Murphy, said:

“On behalf of the Conservators and Trustees, we welcome Jacqueline to her new role and celebrate the historic milestone of appointing the first female Superintendent in the 150 years that the City Corporation has been managing Epping Forest.

“Jacqueline has skilfully demonstrated her ability to straddle the vast and complex portfolio of responsibilities delegated to the Superintendent of Epping Forest. She understands the scale of the challenges which lie ahead and has worked hard to capitalise on opportunities.

“Over the past eight months, I have been inundated with positive feedback from staff, volunteers, and local stakeholders at Jacqueline’s ability to get things done. I know she is keen to continue this great work protecting and enhancing the ‘Green Lungs of London’ in the years to come.”

The City of London Corporation’s Superintendent of Epping Forest, Jacqueline Eggleston, said:

“I’m delighted to move into this prestigious and historic role. Like all of our fantastic team here, I love Epping Forest and am passionate about protecting this internationally significant and special landscape.

“Epping Forest, in its unique position on the edge of London and straddling five local authority areas, can lead the way in encouraging everyone to come and enjoy the benefits of the countryside and natural environment around them.”

Epping Forest stretches from Manor Park in the south, through to Epping in the north, and covers an area of around 8,000 acres, which is roughly nine times the size of New York’s Central Park.

It makes up 73% of the 11,000 acres of green space protected by the City Corporation and attracts more than 10 million visitors per year – equivalent to almost the entire population of Sweden.

Epping Forest is London and Essex’s largest green space – and a recent report revealed it is worth around £64.4 million a year in public benefits, with a present value of £1.9 billion over 50 years. For every £1 donated to Epping Forest’s charity, £20.20 is returned in public benefits.

It is home to over one million trees, some of which are up to 1,000 years old – including 50,000 ancient pollards of beech, hornbeam, and oak. They support a wealth of insects and fungi including many rare and vulnerable species.

The Forest is of national and international conservation importance, containing two registered historic parks, eight listed buildings and four scheduled ancient monuments.

It provides access to facilities for physical activity and recreation such as walking and running, cycling, horse riding, angling, football, cricket, and golf. There are three visitor centres, a museum and more than 100 ponds and lakes.

The City Corporation protects over 11,000 acres of open space across London and southeast England – including Hampstead Heath and Burnham Beeches – and over 180 smaller sites in the Square Mile, investing over £38m a year.

These green spaces, most of which are charitable trusts, are run at little or no cost to the communities that they serve. They include important wildlife habitats, Special Areas of Conservation, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and National Nature Reserves. They are protected from being built on by special legislation.

Share this: