Welcome to the Ashdown Forest news and events section, see below for the bulletins prior to 2017. Please be sure to review our exhibitions and events listings to see whats happening on the Forest.
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NEWS & NOTICES 2020
New refreshment concessions January 2021
New licences have been issued to local businesses to provide refreshments to visitors to Ashdown Forest Refreshments 2021
The Conservators of Ashdown Forest are delighted to announce the appointment of James Adler as their new Chief Executive Officer
James joins from Surrey Wildlife Trust where he has been the Director of Biodiversity, responsible for the conservation management of 80 different sites. He has spent the last 18 years transforming some of the most important heathland sites in the country to favourable condition using a range of innovative techniques, facing many of the same issues that Ashdown Forest is experiencing.
He brings a wealth of experience of managing a range of diverse habitats, balancing the need for conservation with access for public recreation, attracting funding and volunteers, and dealing with different landowners to link fragmented habitats.
James is also the national Land Management Adviser for The Wildlife Trusts helping with agricultural and countryside challenges, negotiating with the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and is at the frontline of the development of environmental funding as the UK leaves the EU.
James said: “I cannot wait to get started working with the staff, volunteers, local people and the Commoners and Conservators of Ashdown Forest. This incredible place is at the forefront of turning around the decline in nature in Sussex whilst giving people an amazing experience when they visit. It was going to take somewhere very special to tempt me away from the Surrey Heaths and Ashdown Forest is that place.”
Colin Smith, Chairman of the Board of Conservators of Ashdown Forest said: “We are delighted that our search and exhaustive recruitment process has led to James accepting our invitation to become the CEO for Ashdown Forest. We understand the responsibility that we have to care for this beautiful and nationally very important area and we believe James has the right skills and passion to help us do that.”
James is due to start on the 18th January 2021.
*** REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY ***
Reluctantly, we have made the decision NOT to hold the Remembrance Sunday service at the Airmans Grave this year due to the Covid 19 restrictions for social distancing and mass gatherings.
***NEW*** – Ice Cream and Refreshment Application 2020/2021
The Conservators are now inviting applications for individual ice cream concessions and mobile refreshment concessions (i.e. tea and coffee vans), for a trial period of one year, commencing 01 December 2020 and terminating on the 30 November 2021.
Deadline for the receipt of applications 23 October 2020.
- Fire at Gills Lap. 16th May 2020 Carefully extinguish cigarettes, no BBQ or camp fires.
The Annual Meeting of the Commoners of Ashdown Forest is on Friday 6th March 2020. Please note that the Commoners may elect a non-commoner for the 2020 Commoners’ election. Ashdown Forest Act 1974: Section 1, clause 7.4: The elected Conservators shall be elected by the Commoners, as to four members out of their number and as to the fifth such person whether a commoner or not as they shall select.
Closing date for nomination forms for those wishing to stand as a Conservator is Friday 14th February 2020.
Forest visitors should be aware that we plan to move a group of Exmoor ponies into the temporarily fenced compartment to the west of the Vachery drive and behind Trees car park.
Ground conditions allowing, we are hoping this will happen on Tuesday 4th of February.
Please be careful with your dogs, the fence is electrified, and the ponies may defend themselves if harassed. Please put your dogs on a lead until you have passed the enclosure.
Horse riders please take note - the Exmoors are well used to grazing public sites and to riders, but just in case your ride is apt to spook at anything new, please keep to a walk while passing the enclosure.
Please don’t try and feed the ponies - they don’t need additional food and we need to maintain their wild natures. We don’t want to teach them to approach the public and it’s the best way to avoid any accidents.
The Exmoor pony is usually referred to as a ‘breed’ but should really be termed a ‘race’ of ponies. Breeds are produced by man, whereas the Exmoor is the product of the high wet moorlands in Devon and the forces of natural selection. They have come down to us as a relic population of an ancient animal, outwardly little changed from the first British wild ponies which arrived here around 130,000 years ago.
The Exmoor is an endangered Rare Breed, but their hardiness and ability to over-winter natural habitats has given them a new role in Conservation. They are the breed of choice for land managers seeking the natural, sustainable management of increasingly rare and precious habitats such as the heathlands of Ashdown Forest
- The Ashdown Forest Clumps Sponsored Walk - Saturday 11th April 2020.
Join us for the revival of the 14 mile iconic Ashdown Forest Clumps Walk to raise funds for the Ashdown Forest Foundation.
- Summit Call on Future Funding - Uckfield News
NEWS & NOTICES 2019
- Photo Competition Winners - September 2019
- Deer Aware Scheme
- Beef Box orders now being taken
Sunset looking towards Friends Clump by James Speedie
Bucks by Tamsin Ricci
East Sussex County Council, Ashdown Forest Rangers, supported by Sussex Police and the Deer Initiative have produced some information with about what to do if you hit a deer on the road. The Deer Aware leaflet and posters are available here to download and share.
- BBQ Meat Boxes - orders now being taken
- Wealden District Council advice regarding waste disposal and flytipping
We are piloting a new fundraising scheme asking visitors and local residents to contribute voluntarily to support Ashdown Forest and help with the preservation of our amenity spaces and car parks. The Conservators of Ashdown Forest need to raise funds for this work and for other charitable purposes on the Forest.If you would like to help, find out more here:
- Forest Centre Break-in, 3rd January 2019
News and notices 2018
- Road Closure for Remembrance Sunday:
- Orders now being taken for Ashdown Beef Boxes and Ashdown Hogget Boxes
- Second dog owner convicted for failing to keep her dog under control on Ashdown Forest
- Deer Programme Update 2017/18
- Volunteer Opportunity - Mapping Assistant - an opportunity to help with digitising and archiving official Forest maps
- Annual Report 2017/18
- From the High Weald AONB:
Information about the High Weald public consultation: www.highweald.org/public-consultation-2018
News, media stories and notices 2016
QUEEN'S AWARD FOR VOLUNTARY SERVICE 2016 - The Conservators of Ashdown Forest has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award for voluntary service a group can receive in the UK. More information and photos can be viewed here.
- Wakehurst Place plays host to Ashdown Forest sheep: read more here
- Black panther spotted in Ashdown Forest: read more here
- Discover Winnie-the-Pooh Country: read more here
- Review of governance arrangement for Ashdown Forest: read more here
News, media stories and notices 2015
- "Dog owners to blame" after sheep mauled to death on Ashdown Forest: read more here
- Farmer shoots dead black labrador for killing 3 sheep and injuring another: read more here
- Dog shot by farmer after 4 sheep killed on Ashdown Forest: read more here
- Fire crews battle Ashdown Forest gorse blaze: read more here
- Ashdown Forest Centre undergoes £2million improvements project: read more here
- Big cat sightings in Ashdown Forest may be missing greyhound: read more here