Ashdown Forest looks different from its immediate surroundings because of its distinctive land-use over the last nine centuries. Firstly, it was originally created and managed for the hunting of deer and, secondly, it has been, and still is, common land. The Forest has escaped the plough and cultivation but has nonetheless been heavily exploited for grazing and military training and for its resources of wood, bracken, stone and iron.
The two main ecological habitats that make up Ashdown Forest are heathland (60%) and woodland (40%) each of which provides a very different environment for animals to live in. Both of these environments are discussed in more detail below. If you would like a list of all of the plants and trees on Ashdown Forest click here