The Hive's (formally known as Suntrap) aim is to encourage our visitors to develop a strong sense of guardianship for Epping Forest, with an understanding, love and respect for the natural world.
For some this has developed into a lifelong legacy and for others fond childhood memories.
If The Hive has inspired you please share with us your story!
Patient at Suntrap Maternity Home 1944
'As the bombing was a bit naughty I was advised to have my baby at Suntrap'.
Pupil at Henry Maynard School
Arriving on the school bus we nicknamed Goober (after the cartoon Goober and the Ghost Chasers).
Award winning artist
Then out of the blue came Suntrap!
CEO The Garden Classroom
These are some of my happiest childhood memories and inspired me to start The Garden Classroom a charity and social enterprise ..
Executive Director at Groundwork Hertfordshire
Activities involving compasses, maps and "talking bushes" (teachers springing out to point wayward kids in the right direction)!
Waltham Forest teacher 1970's onwards
"Wow!" on seeing a Great Diving Beetle to wails of anguish at losing a Wellie stuck in mud.
Employed at City of London Open Spaces
“Oh,” she said, “they’re rabbit droppings”. I’d never seen them before and to me they looked rather like currants my Mum used at home for baking!
Teacher at Chingford Church of England Junior School 1990s
‘Imagine the scene…. Me and my Year 5 class strolling back to Suntrap after a busy afternoon in the forest.
Pupil at Connaught School in 1980's
Little oasis of Suntrap, seeing a real-life owl and the stunned silence of the class when the bird almost completely rotated its head.
Pupil at Chase Lane Primary School
That's me in the glasses: the wary look is probably because that bird gave me quite a peck on the nose once.
Church Mead Junior, Leyton 1986
Having to find our way around the forest from one point to another -how brave I felt.
Pupil at Chingford C of E School in '70's
The mantra “take only pictures, leave only footprints, kill nothing but time” remains with me to this day.
Suntrap teacher from 1972 - 1992
The look of joy and concentration on the faces of partially sighted children from Joseph Clarke School as they climbed on and explored the trunk of a huge fallen oak.
St Mary's C of E mid 1970s
This was my very first trip away from home on my own.
Selwyn Primary/Chapel End Primary
Memories such as moss on colder side of tree trunk means its north facing.
GTF Tree Care
Going to Suntrap as a kid showed me another way of life and I'm grateful for the chance it gave me.
Photo: Ken Hoy and class
Waltham Forest teacher
One time I wasn’t sure where we were in the forest and it looked as if we were heading in the wrong direction. So I asked my class ‘Who wants to lead us back?’