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

With a rich human history from Kings and commoners to smuggling and industry dating back centuries, Ashdown Forest is also the setting of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories.

Ashdown Forest is owned by the Ashdown Forest Trust and managed by the Conservators of Ashdown Forest.  

A small team of staff are employed by the Conservators to look after the Forest – to protect, conserve and enhance the nature and culture of Ashdown Forest as the largest biodiverse heathland and open space in Sussex for the enjoyment, education, health and recreation of all.

Ashdown Forest Vision & Management Strategy  

Under the Ashdown Forest Act, the Conservators can create and use byelaws to help them manage Ashdown Forest and protect the rights of common. 

Ashdown Forest Byelaws

Learn more about the Board of Conservators and Forest Governance →  Forest Governance

Two independent charities raise funds to help the Conservators’ work – The Ashdown Forest Foundation and the Friends of Ashdown Forest.

The Ashdown Forest Foundation (TAFF) is an independent charity and is not involved in the day-to-day management of the Forest. Instead TAFF raises vital funding needed to protect the Forest. 

Our mission is to raise awareness and funds to conserve and enhance the Forest for enjoyment, education, health, and recreation for now and generations to come. Without your help, Ashdown Forest as we know and love it will not survive. Please help us preserve this beautiful Forest for all, for the future.

The Ashdown Forest Foundation is a registered charity in England and Wales (number 1183829) and registered company (11624110).

To find out more about the charity and the many ways in which you can support us, visit or contact us at [email protected]

The Conservators continue to be supported by the Friends of Ashdown Forest who help in the ongoing work to protect this very special place, today and in the future.


Over the last 60 years, the Friends have donated to numerous projects, including land purchase and education programmes, which would not otherwise have been possible. The Friends has a loyal and engaged membership and is run entirely by volunteers.


The Friends organise a wide-ranging programme of events and talks for their members to encourage conservation and the enjoyment of the Forest.  You can find out more about joining them on their website here.