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Pine Grove, TN6 1DH
East Sussex, 01892 652907
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Ashdown Forest

Covering over 10 square miles, Ashdown Forest is one of the largest open access areas in Southeast England, its lowland heathland and deciduous woodland habitats are home to many rare and threatened species.

Ashdown Forest is owned by the Ashdown Forest Trust and managed by the Conservators of Ashdown Forest.  Grazing is a natural and sensitive way of managing heathland.  There is long history of the land being grazed by local small holdings (Commoners) turning out stock in the summer and cutting bracken and heather for winter bedding.

You will also see ancient breeds of sheep, cattle and ponies openly grazing on the forest as park of the conservators’ herd.  This is hugely important in maintaining and improving the heathland habitat and its rare and special wildlife.

In addition to the domesticated animals on the forest, there is also a large deer population roaming the heathland.  Due to a lack of natural predators, the number of deer is increasing. Increasing numbers of deer have a growing negative impact on the woodland ecology and Ashdown Forest works in collaboration with other local landowners and organisations to manage deer numbers. The high deer numbers can also contribute to the number of potentially dangerous Deer Vehicle Collisions (DVCs) on the roads, particularly in the Autumn, when the nights are drawing in.

Additional caution is also advised when driving across the forest, particularly in Spring and Autumn.  Traffic collisions with deer can result in injury or death for animals and drivers and damage to vehicles.  East Sussex County Council have a useful page of information about what to do if you hit a deer: