When signing an application form to ride on the Forest riders are agreeing to abide by our regulations and the rider's Code of Conduct.

  • Every horse must have a current riding permit and must clearly display a valid riding badge whenever it is being ridden or led on the Forest.
  • You must always display your permit badge on the horse where it can be seen easily by Forest Rangers (e.g. on the near side of the bridle).  It is in your own interest to do so as permit badges have made it possible to track the owner of riderless horses and facilitate rescues by the emergency services.
  • All riders who share a horse, for whatever reason, must list ‘other authorised riders’. Stable hands etc. who exercise the horse on your behalf and with your permission must also be listed under ‘other authorised riders’.
  • Please do not share your badge(s) with any one else or leave you badge(s) where others can use them without your permission.
  • Fourteen mounted volunteer rangers now operate right across the Forest throughout the year. They can be identified by their high-viz tabards.  Mounted rangers carry up to date details of valid badges and current riders.
  • Any rider found not to be displaying a valid badge will be asked to leave the Forest.
  • Badges remain the property of the Board of Conservators of Ashdown Forest.
  • Badges returned by, but no later than, the date shown on the ‘permit fees’ section of the application form will qualify for a partial  ‘summer’ refund.
  • When returning a badge in the post you must use a LARGE stamp as the envelope will be more than 5mm thick!
  • We are sorry but there can be no refunds on badges returned AFTER the date shown on the ‘permit fees’ section and refunded cannot be made under any other circumstances.
  • The Conservators of Ashdown Forest reserve the right to suspend permits for breaches of the riding regulations.


Riding is permitted on

  • fire breaks – these are the unmarked tracks across the Forest, cut and maintained to a width of more than 9 metres (30 feet). Please note these tracks are rough terrain and can be crossed by drainage ditches. They can be slippery when wet. Please take care.
  • riding tracks – these may be narrower than 9 metres and marked with Ashdown Forest signs. Please note these tracks are rough terrain and can be crossed by drainage ditches. They can be slippery when wet. Please take care.

You may not ride

  • across heathland unless on one of the above fire-breaks or tracks
  • on footpaths or any unmarked narrow track
  • through car parks except those designated as Horse Box parking (see below)
  • on tracks and roads leading to private properties or the fire breaks surrounding private properties
  • over recreation grounds or on the Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club courses


  • Help protect the Forest by varying routes, by avoiding wet and badly eroded areas, by keeping to the permitted fire breaks and tracks and by keeping out of the sensitive heather areas;
  • Close all gates into / out of the grazing area to protect livestock;
  • Be aware of the rough and sometimes slippery nature of the terrain and remember that drainage ditches cross tracks;
  • Be considerate and courteous to all other Forest users and give dog walkers time to put their dogs on the lead;
  • Report all incidents as detailed below or any matter that you feel is worrying or important;
  • When cantering ensure other Forest users are aware you are coming and give them a chance to move away;
  • Encourage other riders to follow this Code of Conduct and obey the Riding Regulations;
  • Adhere to the marked road crossings.

Only the following Forest car parks may be used for horse boxes which, due to their size/entrances, make it much easier to manoeuvre boxes:

  • Box (see bottom of page), Stonehill Road, Nutley (C3) - closed to boxes on Remembrance Sunday
  • Blackhill, Friars Gate Road (B2188)
  • Long, south of Wych Cross (A22)
  • Twyford Car Park is for AFRA members only (C2)


Please help us by calling 01342-822846 as soon as possible if you see injured or distressed livestock (including deer), incidents of sheep worrying, lost or out of control dogs, fires, fly-tipping or any other incident that you feel may be important.

If you have information about people abusing the Riding Regulations or Code of Conduct, for example those who are riding without a permit or acting in an unsafe or irresponsible manner or causing damage to the heather areas call us on 01342 823583 or 01342 822846.


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