This area is dominated by the Lee Valley Regional Park and Epping Forest, both extending from rural Essex deep into north-east London. Additionally, Harlow has the marshes along the Stort to the north of the town and stretches of common land to the south. Other notable sites are Roding Valley Meadows – ancient flood meadows alongside the River Roding .

The farmland north of the London conurbation includes Ashlyns Farm, one of the very few organic farms in Essex and a Soil Association demonstration site.