The London Borough of Waltham Forest is a London borough in north east London, England. The local authority is Waltham Forest London Borough Council. It covers an overall area of approximately 14.99 square miles. The borough is positioned in between Epping Forest and Essex in the north, Redbridge in the east, Newham and Hackney towards the south, and Haringey and Enfield in the west, where the River Lea and Lea Valley and the surrounding parkland forms a green corridor separating north and east London. Significant districts are Leyton and Leytonstone in the south, Walthamstow at the centre, and Chingford in the north.
In line with population estimates from the middle of 2014, Waltham Forest is a borough with a permanent population of about 268020 people. The north and south of the borough, split by the North Circular Road, contrast markedly in terms of ethnicity and socio-economic indicators, with built-up urban districts in the south having inner-city characteristics, and more affluent residential development to the north with open spaces, parks, and playing fields.
Historically known as the seat of the Arts and Crafts Movement under the stewardship of William Morris, Waltham Forest continues to help a lot of contemporary artists and art groups. These include the North East London Independent Artists group, primarily based in the Changing Room Gallery in Lloyd Park, the 491 Gallery in Leytonstone, as well as a number of independent artists, also mainly inside the Leytonstone area. Waltham Forest was one of the six London boroughs that hosted the 2012 Summer Olympics.