Volunteers who turned out in force to look after Burnham Beeches and Stoke Common during lockdown have been praised.

The volunteers have included community groups and people furloughed from their jobs.

They have been checking on grazing animals, taking pressure off rangers and supporting them to cope with added responsibilities during COVID-19, as well as helping with social distancing signage.

Graeme Doshi-Smith, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Epping Forest and Commons Committee which runs the sites, said: “It has been extremely encouraging to see so many local people help maintain Burnham Beeches and Stoke Common during the COIVD-19 pandemic.

“Our staff have been working exceptionally hard to keep these green spaces running smoothly for all our visitors to enjoy.

“Volunteering isn’t just a one-way street, it has a whole host of benefits to our volunteers – both mentally and physically, which is why we encourage others to come and help out.

Andrew Booth, a regular volunteer at Stoke Common and part of the Friends of Stoke Common group, said: “It has been great to be able to volunteer again by checking the livestock and speaking with visitors during the day.

“Asking the visitors to social distance is easier now as most people immediately understand.

“Going out to Burnham Beeches has been wonderful as I know I will be spending more time in the open.”

Visit the City Corporation website to find out more about volunteering opportunities - https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/green-spaces/management-of-our-green-spaces/Pages/volunteering.aspx