Although Ashdown Forest is seen as a wild and natural place the way it looks has been directly influenced by the activities of man over the course of millennia.

The Forest has a strong manufacturing as well as agricultural element to its history. It was used extensively for grazing, fuel production for hearths and smelting, iron working, timber production and, of course, hunting by the elite. You can download a copy of the Forest Pale report here. The Ashdown Forest Research Group carries out research into the historical geography of the Forest. To read more about its work and download its publications, click here.

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Pre-History and Archaeology

The absence of ploughing, predominance of heathland and lack of building development have allowed...

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People on the Forest

By the fifth century CE, Saxon / Anglo-Saxon settlements already existed. Saxon indications...

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The history of iron working

Ashdown Forest's iron industry flourished in the two eras when the Weald was the main iron-producing region...

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Ashdown Forest Research Group

The Ashdown Forest Research Group was formed by a group of enthusiasts who had attended two courses given by...

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