Welcome to the unique world of Ashdown Forest,
the jewel at the centre of the High Weald.

Ashdown Forest News is usually published twice a year in Spring and Autumn by and for The Society of Friends of Ashdown Forest. It is issued free to all members of the Society.

Below are some articles to download.

Ladybird on Ashdown Forest

Recalling some Dialect Words -

Throughout much of the 18th and 19th centuries, people were much less mobile than they are today. Farm labourers, for example, frequently lived and died in the house where they were born. Such isolation was one factor contributing to their limited vocabulary.
Common Heath moth on Ashdown Forest

Some Forest Moths

Friends may well know the Forest’s importance as a haven for the Dartford warbler and nightjar, the silver-studded blue butterfly and an array of plants like the acid soil-loving bog asphodel and sundews. But there’s one large group you may have missed - the moths.

News from the forest

Report of birdlife on Ashdown Forest


CLIVE POOLE, Voluntary Ranger  7th April 2021

February 2021 was cold as usual but the weather was not severe enough to kill off our population of resident DARTFORD WARBLERS. They could be heard calling while sheltering in thick gorse, where they hunted for spiders, their crucial winter diet. Occasionally a fleeting glimpse of a tiny dark -coloured long-tailed bird would confirm the presence of a “furze wren “, the old Sussex name for Dartford Warbler. They rely on heather for nesting and gorse for shelter and most of their food supply.

Our second avian relative UK rarity is the WOODLARK and our breeding population arrived back on the Forest in early February from their wintering grounds on the South coast or across the Channel (without needing to comply with lockdown restrictions). This season they have benefited locally from the gorse-management activities of the conservators who have removed some large blocks of very tall old straggly gorse, useless for wildlife. This has left areas of bare ground, gorse litter and scattered seeds. Just the job for WOODLARKS who are opportunistic colonisers after fire damage or major ground disturbance. They, paradoxically, both feed and breed on the ground on open heaths (not inwoods despite their name) searching the bare and battered ground for seeds and insects. They also favour feeding on short grass grazed by rabbits.

Friends of Ashdown Forest