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News, Events and Notices
Stay up-to-date with Ashdown Forest...
CONTACTING ASHDOWN FOREST CENTRE
The Ashdown Forest Centre, Visitor Centre and toilets remain closed to the public
The Forest car parks are open as usual between 6am and midnight. Please do not park on verges or tracks.
NEW - Job Opportunity
We are inviting applications for the role of Countryside Manager
Closing date: Friday 28th May 2021
Job advert, description and application form can be found here
The following areas have temporary livestock enclosures with live fences. Please do not approach or feed the livestock. Dogs must be under close control at all times.
Exmoor ponies at Church Hill and Isle of Thorns
Hebridean sheep at Primrose Patch, Fairwarp and Wych Cross.
Cattle at Black Bog and Trees
Livestock will be returning to the grazing enclosure from Monday 19th April.
Dog walkers are reminded that dogs must be kept under very close control at all times even when there is no livestock on the Forest.
Please follow the Code of Conduct for dog walkers and remember the 4C's
Annual Riding Permit Forms now available
The Forest Centre is still closed to the public. Forms should be emailed or posted back to the Forest Centre.
Sheep Proof Your Dog
One-to-one sessions, Wednesday 12th May and Wednesday 19th May. Booking essential.
Book your place here
- Latest News - New Refreshment Concessions
- Commoners Annual Meeting - NEW DATE - Friday 25th June, 7:30pm at the Ashdown Forest Centre. This will be an in-person meeting subject to the lifting of Covid-restrictions. More details to follow.
- Ashdown Forest in the news - The Chairman of the Board and the CEO discuss visitor pressure
- School Visits Contact our education team at [email protected] for details about the services they can offer.
- The Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club is currently open (29th March 2021). Please consider visiting other areas of the Forest if you wish to picnic
Ashdown Forest Wildlife
- iNaturalist app - Flora and Fauna of Ashdown Forest. Help us identify 1000 species.
- Butterflies on Ashdown Forest. More information
Events and Activities
- Ashdown Forest Spring Trail - additional details Spring Activity Trail for Families on the Ashdown Forest - info
- Ashdown Forest Education and High Weald AONB Nature Nuggets - focussing on nature while out walking with children
- Ashdown Forest Mini Explorers
- Events - Activity Ideas, Toddler Group, Writing Group, Poets Walk (Monthly)
- Activity ideas for lock down
- Bye-laws - information about the activities that are allowed under the Ashdown Forest Act 1974
- Ashdown Forest Tourism Association - information about where to stay, where to eat and what to do in the area
- Board of Conservators - information about the Conservators, meeting dates, minutes and agendas of Board and Committee meetings
- Blog! - look at the Forest through the eyes of our Countryside Team
- Friends of Ashdown Forest
- Support the Friends of Ashdown Forest by shopping at AmazonSmile
Commercial Activity and Business Licences
All commercial business who use, or operate on, Forest land must have a licence from the Conservators - including, but not exclusive to, commercial dog walkers, fitness groups, commercial guided walks and forays, filming and photography, art classes etc. A general licence application form is available for all commercial activities.
ALL events using Ashdown Forest (including car parks) should apply for an event licence
Ashdown Forest Videos
- Eden Falls by Barry Steer
- The View from Bunkers Hill by Dave Brooker
- Ashdown Forest Illustrated by Dave Brooker
- Ashdown Poems by Sian Thomas
RIDING PERMITS 2021-22
The Forest Centre is still closed to the public. DO NOT VISIT THE OFFICE TO BUY YOUR PERMITS.
Either email or post your forms back to us, along with evidence of your insurance (minimum £5million third party public liability) and AFRA membership if applicable. Permits will be sent out after the correct documents and payments have been received. Forms can be also be left in the post box on the yard gate.
Email: [email protected]
If you are planning an event that will use any part of the Forest an EVENTS APPLICATION FORM should be completed and returned to the Forest Centre Office
COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES - FEES & CHARGES
Any commercial activity that takes place on the Forest is subject to a fee or charge.
All moving films, for television (for whatever purpose) and cinema or action shots for magazines, require written permission. An application form and scale of charges can be found here.
Please contact the Office for more information.
OUTDOOR FITNESS LICENCE
A new commercial Fitness Licence has been introduced. Charges:
Personal Fitness Licence (<2 clients) £130 pa.
Group Fitness Licence (3-10 clients) £260 pa.
Group Fitness Licence (11-20 clients) £390 pa.
The Outdoor Fitness Licence Application Form and Code of Conduct is here.
ROAD CYCLE EVENTS
Please contact the office if you are organising a road cycle race that takes in parts of Ashdown Forest.
You will need a Temporary Permission Licence to use the car parks or laybys to serve refreshments.
Email [email protected]
Phone us on 01342 823583
Off road cycling is not permitted on Ashdown Forest and is a breach of Bye-law 2.
Please contact the office if you have any questions.
ERECTION OF NOTICE BOARDS/RESIDENTIAL BUILDING / CONSTRUCTION WORK
Please email the completed form to: [email protected]
ASHDOWN FOREST CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT PLAN 2016-2020
- Statement of Accounts 2018/19
- Notice of Conclusion of Audit 2018-19
- Strategic Plan 2016-2020
- Annual Report 2017/18
A Year in the Life of Ashdown Forest
A gorgeous film, produced by the Friends of Ashdown Forest, giving a 'behind the scenes' look at just what it takes to manage and maintain the Forest in the 21st Century. To view the film click here or visit our YouTube Channel. (Released December 2013)
Discover more at Ashdown Forest...
The Official Ashdown Forest Maps and Walks Bundle
Download the Official Map of Ashdown Forest, The Clumps Walk 2020 and all 13 self-guided mapped walks. The bundle includes the Grazing Map of Ashdown Forest for free. Downloads are sent to your PayPal email address. Download
The Official Map of Ashdown Forest (£3.00): Download
Including car parks, mapped walks, clumps, forest rides, public bridleways, the Wealdway, the Vanguard Way and points of interest.
The Clumps Walk - 14.5 miles. (£2.00): Download
13 Mapped Walks - 1-4 miles. Leaflets: Here
(Please note: there is no circular route or right of way from Church Hill car park through Five Hundred Acre Wood which is private property)
Grazing Map of Ashdown Forest 2021 (£2.00): Download
You can now download a Grazing Map of Ashdown Forest for a £2.00 donation. The map is updated with each new enclosure (electric fencing), so you can find our livestock or avoid them. Once you have downloaded the map, you will receive each update (as the map changes) free of charge by email.
Ashdown Forest Spring Trail (£1.00): Download
The trail is 1.6miles /3km long and will take approximately 1 hour to complete (without stops). The route is hilly and the paths can be wet and muddy in places. It is not suitable for pushchairs.
CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Address: The Ashdown Forest Centre, Coleman's Hatch Road, Wych Cross, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JP
Phone: +44 (0)1342 823583 (Monday to Friday)
E-mail: [email protected]
Please use Broadstone car park (RH18 5JP) should be used by larger coaches.
Originally a deer hunting forest in Norman times, Ashdown Forest is now one of the largest free public access space in the South East. It is a great place for walking and enjoying spectacular views over the Sussex countryside and is known the world over as the 'home' of Winnie-the-Pooh.
The Forest is at the heart of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has national and international protection because of its wildlife. Nearly two thirds of its 6500 acres (2500 hectares) are heathland, amounting to 2.5% of the UK's extent of this rare habitat. How to get to Ashdown Forest
The Forest Centre is the headquarters of the Conservators of Ashdown Forest who are responsible for the management the Forest. It is the best starting point for finding out about the Forest, what you can see, and where you can go.
- Emergency (Out of Hours) Phone: 01342 822846. Note this number diverts to the mobile phone of the Duty Ranger. Although this is a 24 hour number, if the Ranger is out of signal the call may divert to voicemail - please leave a message and he will return your call when he has signal.
- If you need urgent assistance please call 999.
- CAR PARKS - Postcodes and what3words can be found here
- MEET THE ASHDOWN FOREST STAFF
- The Forest Centre - Office, Information Barn and Hiring the Education Barn
USE OF DRONES ON ASHDOWN FOREST
The use of ‘drones’ on Ashdown Forest is strictly prohibited. Drones must not be operated on Ashdown Forest or within 50 metres of Ashdown Forest.
Ashdown Forest Bye-law 14 states:
No person shall except in the case of accident or unavoidable cause land on any part of the Forest to take off therefrom in any aircraft, glider, balloon, or hovercraft, nor shall any person so land by parachute, nor shall the Forest be used for the flying of model aircraft in any form whatsoever without the licensed consent of the Conservators.
Use of Unmanned Aircraft and Aircraft Systems is governed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Concerns have been raised over the dangers of startling the public, horses (and riders), wild animals and Commoners’ livestock.
Please contact the office if you have any questions.
BRITISH MODEL FLYING ASSOCIATION (BMFA)
License to fly on Ashdown Forest: THe BMFA and its membership have a licence to fly on the Forest under strict locations, dates and times.
Summary of Licence
Model Types: Free Fight and Radio Controlled Gliders, powered (electric) and unpowered.
Flying Locations: Old Lodge Valley area bounded by Old Lodge Boundary; and Duddleswell/Nutley Road, Old Lodge Drive, B2026 and Friends Clump.
Flying Dates and Times:
Between 1 May and 31 August:
- Silent Free Flight models, including electric powered – up to 12.00 noon and from 6 pm to sunset on any day in the area detailed above..
- Power Assisted Free Flight models and Radio Controlled Gliders including electric powered Models – up to 10.30 am and from 6 pm to sunset on any day in the area detailed above.
Between 1 January to 30 April and 1 September to 31 December:
- Free Flight models and Radio Controlled Gliders including electric powered assisted Models – from 8.30 am to sunset on any day in the area detailed above.
Each year the BMFA negotiate a number of competition dates that enable their members to fly from 8:30am to sunset, that do not clash with other events on the Forest,
The use of Helicopters and Multi-Rotor, 3D models, Gas Turbines, etc. do not fall within the scope of our licence and therefore cannot be flown at all and will be enforced by the Forest Rangers.
Link: BMFA South-East Area
SCATTERING THE ASHES OF A LOVED ONE
You will need permission to scatter ashes on Ashdown Forest. Officially it is not strictly allowed, but normally we have no objection as long as it is done discretely and without ceremony. We ask that ashes are scattered off the main pathways and away from car parks. Due to SSSI legislation there can be no introduction of foreign species on Ashdown Forest. This includes trees, plants and shrubs commemorating the life of a loved one. A donation to Ashdown Forest in memory of your loved one would be very much appreciated. Please contact the office for more information.
For information about the memorials available on the Forest please see our Memorial Programme Leaflet
PLEASE HELP US REDUCE FLY TIPPING
Please check your contractor has a waste disposal licence here
Information about East Sussex County Council Amenity sites
Information about West Sussex County Council Amenity sites
DOGS AND DOG WALKING
Commercial Dog Walking Licence - Application Form