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They have mainly been acquired since 1878, when two Acts of Parliament entrusted the management of Epping Forest and several other areas within a 25-mile (40 km) radius to the Corporation: these areas laid the foundation for the Green Belt in the 20th century. On dedicating the opening of Epping Forest on 6 May 1882, Queen Victoria said "It gives me the greatest satisfaction to dedicate this beautiful forest to the use and enjoyment of my people for all time."
There are 150 smaller areas within the square mile of the City of London, including:
The total managed area is 4,200 hectares (42 km2 (16 sq mi)). Included in the open spaces are:
It also has an interest in the Downlands Countryside Management Project in South-east London.