Leyton Flats

Hollow Pond fire pictures

Hollow Ponds after the fire

Fire damage near Snaresbrook Court and the small pond

Undeterred by yesterday’s fire, the boats were back on Hollow Pond today and people were out enjoying themselves in the albeit cloudier weather, but the scenes of devastation made it clear that this was by far the worst fire to have hit this part of the forest for very many years.

Fire damage was not confined to one area but affected parts of the forest near Snaresbrook Road and the former lido, and a much larger area from the main pond past the small pond and down towards Snaresbrook Court (some media reports yesterday described this incorrectly as Wanstead Flats — slightly confusingly this part of the forest is formerly known as Leyton Flats due to it being historically part of the old Borough of Leyton and Leytonstone).

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Hollow Ponds evacuated as fire breaks out

Hollow Ponds FireThe Hollow Ponds area was evacuated by police this afternoon as fires broke out and smoke engulfed the pond and surrounding forest. Rowing boats were called in and people were asked to leave as fire engines moved in to tackle the fire towards the north end of the main and small ponds.

Fire engines had already attended a fire earlier in the day by Snaresbrook Road causing the road to be shut off to traffic and further traffic disruption was caused along Whipps Cross Road and surrounding roads as a result of the later fire.
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Hollow Ponds

Frozen forest

The cold snap is coming to an end, with luck for the rest of winter, but for anyone who likes photos to remember the snow here are some of Hollow Ponds/Epping Forest in Leytonstone (though also known as Leyton Flats and Whipps Cross!).

A sign usefully reminds people that barbecues aren’t allowed, even though by British standards it seems perfectly acceptable barbecue weather. Hollow Ponds look like ice rinks but on a serious note they should not be used for skating, the ice is really dangerous and melting.

Click on any photo to see a slideshow.