Monday 11th January 2021
Whilst the Forest has provided a place of sanctuary over lockdown, the impact from excess visitor pressure is beginning to have repercussions for the environment. Over the past few months a growing number of concerns have been raised to the Office regarding visitor behaviour. Indeed, the car parks are overflowing and the sheer number of cars are outstripping parking capacity.
These unprecedented visitor levels are impacting the residents, commoners and local communities, as well as our emergency services. National Lockdown rules apply to Ashdown Forest. You must stay at home unless for exercise with your household or support bubble.
We kindly ask that you:
- Do not park on verges, rides or property tracks
- Do not park in front of barriers (this blocks emergency access)
- Do not let your dog off a lead if your dog has no recall
- Keep your dog under close control around livestock, horses and deer
- Be mindful of residents and commoners who live on the Forest
- Take your litter home
- Consider alternative green spaces
- Be respectful of staff, volunteers and emergency services personnel
We would like Ashdown Forest to remain a safe environment for everyone to enjoy, but we need your support to ensure this. Please respect the Forest and enjoy the environment in a responsible way.
Wednesday 23rd December 2020
As of 00:01am on Saturday 26th December, Ashdown Forest will be included in Tier 4. Ashdown Forest and the car parks will remain open, although the Visitor Centre, Forest Office and toilets will be closed to the public.
Please ensure you adhere to the Tier 4 guidelines if you are planning to visit Ashdown Forest at this time. There are signs in the car parks with information about what activities are allowed on the Forest and further details can be found on this website. Please be mindful that outside of your family group and support bubble, you can only meet with one person from another household.
Please take all your litter home and respect the wildlife, other Forest visitors and residents.
There will be a skeleton staff working at the Forest Centre after the Christmas break. If you need to contact the office please email [email protected] for non-urgent queries. The Duty Ranger will be available on 01342 822846 for emergencies and urgent matters only.
There may be a delay in responding to emails and post as staff will be working remotely.
Wednesday 4th November 2020
Second National Lockdown
There will be a skeleton staff working at the Forest Centre Office during the lockdown over the next few weeks.
If you have a non-urgent enquiry, please contact the office by email - if you do not know the email address of the person you need to contact, email [email protected]
The general office number 01342 823583 may not be answered, depending on staffing levels.
If you have an urgent matter that needs the immediate attention of the duty Ranger, call 01342 822846. Please do not use this number for general enquiries.
Saturday 3rd October 2020
Wednesday 23rd September 2020
Following the tightening of the government restrictions, the Forest Office will be operating a skeleton staff with some staff working remotely. Please note that telephone enquiries may not be answered promptly. If your enquiry is not urgent, please email [email protected]
Monday 10th August 2020
More people are visiting Ashdown Forest as restrictions are being eased. Information to help you plan your visit to Ashdown Forest and find out what facilities are open can be found here.
Thursday 2nd July 2020
The Countryside Code has been updated to reflect government guidance relating to Covid:
Friday 22 May 2020
On BBC Radio Sussex, Richard Stogdon, Chair of the Ashdown Forest Board of Conservators talks about social distancing on the Forest and in car parks. You can listen to the broadcast on our News videos page.
Wednesday 13 May 2020
The government guidance relating to the Coronavirus outbreak has been amended:
- Staying alert and safe (social distancing)
- Guidance: Coronavirus Outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do
We anticipate that the Forest will get busier with the easing of restrictions, with more walkers, dogs, horse riders and family groups. The Forest is also a working environment and livestock are present in some areas.
For the safety and welfare of all:
- There is livestock roaming freely in the grazing area between Nutley and Duddleswell. Sheep and cattle will sometimes be in the road between the cattle grids on Crowborough Road at any time of day or night. Deer and other wildlife appear on all Forest roads – please drive appropriately.
- Dogs must be under effective control at all times, everywhere on the Forest. In the grazing area and near livestock enclosures, ensure your dog is close by and will respond to recall immediately or, ideally, keep them on a lead. If dogs are found to be worrying or attacking livestock, they may be shot by a Ranger or the livestock owner.
Maps showing the grazing area and livestock enclosures can be downloaded HERE
- Ground-nesting birds and adders are found across the Forest and the Fallow deer are now starting to give birth to their fawns. Do not allow your dog to disturb the wildlife on the Forest.
- Take your litter home with you. Litter is hazardous to livestock and wildlife and is a health hazard to humans.
- BBQs and campfires are not allowed anywhere on the Forest, including car parks.
- There are over 40 car parks open to Forest visitors – if one is crowded, try a different one. Maps with all the car parks marked can be downloaded HERE
- The Ashdown Forest Centre remains closed to the public. A Forest ranger is available to respond to emergencies and urgent matters only and can be contacted on 01342 822846. For general enquiries or less urgent matters please email [email protected].
Cycling is not permitted anywhere on the Forest except on public bridleways.
Enjoy and protect the Forest. Keep alert, be responsible and be considerate to others.
Monday 20 April 2020
Although Ashdown Forest is not closed, we would like to remind everyone to take note of the guidance issued by the government and Sussex Police.
You should only travel if it is essential to do so and you should, where possible, stay local in order to take exercise, including walking your dogs.
You should only be visiting Ashdown Forest for exercise and should not be stopping for picnics or sunbathing. Please remember that you should not be gathering in groups of more than 2, unless they are members of the same household.
There is livestock out on the Forest now so make sure your dog is under close control at all times.
Please be responsible for yourself and considerate to others.
Stay at Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.
Friday 17 April 2020
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is warning people not to have BBQs at beauty spots after heathland caught alight yesterday. The Service was called to the Ashdown Forest Centre at 14:16 on 16 April 2020.
Further information about the incident and advice can be found on their website.
The incident was featured in a BBC News broadcast. This can be viewed on our News videos page.
Monday 23 March 2020
Conservators of Ashdown Forest update on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
"In light of the recent announcement by the Government on Monday 23 March, if you are on Ashdown Forest during the next few weeks, be responsible and follow the Government guidelines on travel, exercise and social distancing at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Together we can save lives and protect the NHS. Stay safe and well.
Sussex Police have clarified that government guidance is that people can take one form of exercise from their own home which may be a dog walk and that travel should be undertaken for essential journeys only.
Sussex Police say that essential travel does not include travelling to and from locations away from home for dog walking or other exercise".