A delegation has delivered a petition with more than 8,000 signatures to the City of London Corporation urging it not to put the licence of a much-loved tea hut out for tender.

The online document has been drawn up in support of keeping the tea hut in High Beach, Epping Forest, under the control of its current manager, Bradley Melton.

The 33-year-old is the fourth generation of his family to run the hut, which has become popular with bikers, walkers and horse riders over the past 84 years.

The man behind the petition and a regular user of the hut, Paul Morris, delivered the petition, which will be considered next month, to Sue Ireland, the Corporation of London's director of open spaces.

The Corporation said due to budget reductions of 12.5 per cent in Epping Forest, it needs to ensure “value for money” on its licensed outlets.

A spokesman said: “The trustees have decided to ensure that they are achieving the best possible level of service and return for this facility through public advertisement.

“Tea huts are an Epping Forest tradition and we want that to continue, while meeting the service expectations of all our visitors.”

Mr Morris was joined by tea hut users Steve Barron from Waltham Abbey and Ralph Ankers of High Beach.

The Epping Forest Guardian is supporting the campaign to keep Mr Melton at the the hut and is at the Guidhall lending its support.

More on this story in next week's Guardian.