Campaigners say closing part of an open space in East London for six weeks over the summer for pop concerts for thousands of music-lovers will have a “significant impact” on park users and wildlife, including nesting Skylarks .
The team behind the popular Lovebox music festival wants to stage a series of events at Wanstead Parklands which is owned by the City of London Corporation.
Festival organiser MAMA and Company wants to hold events at Wanstead Flats featuring big name bands such as Stereophonics, The Prodigy and singer-songwriter George Ezra.
It has asked the corporation for permission to stage the concerts and set up and break down the stages over several years.
Community groups told the corporation’s Epping Forest Consultative Committee about their concerns.
The committee is looking at three options. These include two large scale events called Kayam and Steel Yard for up to 20,000 to 40,000 people, between June and September next year.
Another possibility is allowing just one event over two consecutive weekends in June.
Alternatively, the Corporation could give the go-ahead for a series of between five and 12 concerts in September, with a capacity of 20,000 people at each event.
The Friends of Wanstead Parklands said it was concerned about the "scale and duration” of the proposed concerts and said members were worried about the impact on nature.
The WREN Wildlife and Conservation Group in east London pointed out that Wanstead Parklands are a nesting area for Skylarks, whose numbers have declined dramatically.
It said: "The Skylark nesting area by Alexandra Lake is adjacent to the arena site, and large numbers of people making their way to and from Forest Gate on foot will be passing directly through the core breeding area for Skylarks and Meadow Pipits."
WREN is also concerned about the fire risk after a series of blazes destroyed an area the size of 100 football pitches on Wanstead Flats.
It warned the fire risk "is likely to be exacerbated with large numbers of additional people on the site."
The concerts could yield 'a maximum return in income for reinvestment into the forest', according to a report by head of visitor services for Epping Forest Jacqueline Eggleston.
After the meeting in Loughton on October 10, a corporation spokeswoman said consultative committee members’ views will be considered by the Epping Forest and Commons Committee on November 19.
"If the trustees agree, in principle, that the event can be held on Epping Forest land, a full public licensing consultation will be undertaken accordingly," she said.
Organisers would have to get a licence from Redbridge council and follow the corporation’s open spaces events policy.
Surplus income would be used to manage Epping Forest, she added.