Marion Sidebottom

Photographer & Artist, MA, ARPS, RHS Silver Gilt

Photomontage 'Education Rather Than Enforcement'

Education rather than enforcement Marion Sidebottom, 2018, Giclee Fine Art print, 36.96 x 20.8 inches

I spent a day with Mick Collins a Constable Keeper in Epping Forest which really opened my eyes to the people pressures the forest is under due to its proximity to the City. Part of his role is to enforce the forest bylaws but he is a strong believer is education too and regularly runs walks so people can learn about the forest. He is also part of a team that are responsible for all aspects of the care of the deer in Epping Forest including the herd in the deer sanctuary. His knowledge on the behaviour and management of the deer was extensive. We visited some of the more remote areas which are owned by the City of London but not officially part of the forest. He showed me some of his favourite trees including the 'Beer Belly Oak' which is in the picture. I was impressed with his knowledge of the forest wildlife and passion for protecting it, but also his friendly demeanour in quite a difficult role.

Slideshow with soundbites on YouTube