A GIANT puppet planting trees on a custom built float will represent Epping Forest in one of the capital's biggest annual celebrations.

Forest staff and volunteers will join the Lord Mayor's Show in London on Saturday, parading from the Mansion House to the Royal Courts of Justice in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators.

They will be accompanied by a specially decorated vehicle, complete with 'growing' woodland and ridden by a puppet operated by three puppeteers.

Richard Edmonds, Epping Forest's conservation arborist team leader, will take part in the procession with wife Oya, nine-year-old son Josef and daughter Ayla, five.

He said: "This is something that not everyone gets the chance to be involved in - we'll probably never get another chance like this.

Superintendent Paul Thomson added: "We’re very proud to have our ancient woodland recognised in this historic event in the City of London."

Epping Forest's first appearance in the show will also herald the launch of a new charity, the Gifford Wood Appeal, named after the Lord Mayor Alderman Roger Gifford.

The scheme will fund the planting of trees in a newly-acquired 30-acre patch of land at Horseshoe Hill, Upshire.

  • The City of London Corporation is inviting residents to drop in to Upshire Village Hall on Sunday November between 2-5pm to find out more about plans for the new wood.