A guided walk with Tom Forward, to discover the reptiles of Ashdown Forest. The open heathland of Ashdown Forest provides perfect habitats for these under-appreciated...

Event Date:
May 21, 2022 at 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Ashdown Forest Centre,
Wych Cross,
Forest Row

A guided walk with Tom Forward, to discover the reptiles of Ashdown Forest.

The open heathland of Ashdown Forest provides perfect habitats for these under-appreciated animals and this walk will take you out in search of the 4 species of resident reptile, to learn more about their ecology and life cycles.

Quick to retreat if disturbed, snakes and lizards can be hard to spot, but you will be guided in the art and science of how, when, and where to look. Any sightings of these protected species will be recorded to support their conservation.

Tickets are available from Eventbrite:



General events notes

The walk will be on foot over varied, and occasionally hilly terrain. Participants should be prepared with suitable outdoor clothing for the weather conditions and sturdy footwear. Walks go at a gentle pace with frequent stops and may cover up to 5km in distance, so a moderate level of fitness is required.

A refreshing drink and a light snack will be served during the event. Please let us know on booking whether you have any dietary requirements.

Binoculars recommended.

Suitable for ages 14yrs +. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

No dogs.

Please note that we cannot guarantee the target species. Both wildlife and the British weather are unpredictable, but there’s always something to see and experience, whatever the weather.


About your guide, Tom Forward:

Tom Forward


Born on the edge of Ashdown Forest, his childhood was spent exploring the woodlands, ghyll streams, bogs, and heaths, looking for deer, snakes, and birds of prey. The freedom to roam this special landscape led to his choice of career as an ecologist and environmental educator, and lifelong a desire to help protect wildlife. With a degree in Environmental Management and 20 years’ experience in the field, through roles at Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary in southern India, Field Studies Council, Sussex Wildlife Trust, and Commonwork Trust, Tom is an all-round naturalist who has wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to share with visitors.

Tom lives on Ashdown Forest and now works as a freelance ecologist and wildlife guide at locations across Sussex, Surrey and Kent, including the Knepp Estate (renowned rewilding project), Royal Botanical Gardens Kew Wakehurst and Bore Place Organic Farm.

“Ashdown Forest hosts some remarkable species and there is always something to see from special plants and insects, to secretive reptiles and rare birds, or simply the spectacular sweeping views over the High Weald and beyond. There’s nothing I enjoy more than tuning visitors’ eyes and ears into the landscape, leaving them with a new appreciation of the place and a memorable experience.”