Wednesday, March 21, 2012

London Marathon 2012 Week 22: Cattle in the City

Only 4 Sunday's to go before the London Marathon 2012 (22 April)! Run of the week was on Sunday when I did a double circuit of Wanstead flats and Wanstead Park for 2
hours. During which I did intermittent interval (or fartlek) training.

Due to work commitments I haven't been out as often as I should (only 4 times last week rather than 6) but I have kept all the endurance and sprint sessions. My left Achilles tender is much better (thanks to a brace and the
wobble board) but I still have a "niggle" in my left knee.

The training must have had some effect since people I meet ask if I have been on holiday lately? Since I apparently look "tanned and healthy". I tell them that I am training for a marathon and actually feel knackered and in pain for most of the time.

On my second circuit I ran past this "Warning Cattle" road sign Woodford Road. It is just a little bit out of date. When I first moved her in 1988 there use to be cattle roaming the flats since it was "common land". They also use to turn up in the front garden eating plants and hedges. Occasionally you had to rescue them from the local kids who would chase them down the street. It was amazing that in the midst of a great city you would see herds of cattle wondering around regardless of traffic. Sadly BSE and "foot and mouth" disease put an end to this. There are "plans" to reintroduce cattle (and sheep) which I hope one day will come to fruition.

 I am running the London Marathon for a charity set up to prevent young people becoming homeless and helping them if they do. Check out "Alone in London". Click here to sponsor me on the Justgiving website.


Anonymous said...

I remember those cattle. Not a good place to cycle, with all the cow pat....

John Gray said...

I thought if you fell into one it was "lucky"?

macuser_e7 said...

During the warmer months it was not uncommon for traffic on Centre Road (through the Flats) to be held up by cattle crossing.

I remember on more than one occasion seeing a small herd grazing on the Whipps Cross roundabout!

A few years back we were promised that cattle would be re-introduced in to the south of Epping Forest after successful re-introduction of a herd of long-horns into the north, but it doesn't seem to have happened.

Perhaps your colleagues on the council that represent Forest Gate North could enquire as to what is going on. I live adjacent to the Flats and would very much welcome the return of the cows.

John Gray said...

Hi Macuser

I would very much agree. I've just emailed this personal enquiry as a local resident to

I would be grateful if someone could update me on plans regarding the reintroduction of Cattle (and/or sheep) in Wanstead flats/Park. I took part in a Consultation process in 2006/07 but not sure what is the outcome locally? I have seen the cattle in Chingford plains.
John Gray

I think there is a problem about permanent fencing of flats which many would object to and may be unlawful.