Community support

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


Ashdown Forest is a unique and very special place for residents, local communities and visitors - 6,500 acres of protected heathland and woodland, paths, rides and trails, hidden gardens, waterfalls, streams and magnificent views to the North and South Downs.

In a Visitor Survey undertaken by Wealden District Council (2016) it was estimated that there were 4541 visits per day to Ashdown Forest with just a small staff team, supported by specific teams of volunteers, work to 'regulate and manage the forest as an amenity and place of protect such rights of common, to protect the forest from encroachments, and to conserve it as a quiet and natural area of outstanding beauty' (Ashdown Forest Act 1974).

The Conservation Volunteer team, a small dedicated band support us throughout the year in all weathers in so many ways including clearing paths and rides, scrub clearance, hay making, clearing ponds, digging trenches, checking animals, species monitoring, removing invasive species and much, much more. This unique habitat is under threat, and without on-going conservation work could disappear altogether as the birch scrub invades the internationally important heathland.

We therefore need to extend the Conservation Volunteer team providing them with all the support they need. Funding would be used to provide two additional days a month volunteer coordination and support, including recruitment and training, and for the purchase of tools and equipment.

Conservators of Ashdown Forest

Receiving the Queens Award for Voluntary Service was one of the proudest moments in our history recognizing and celebrating the invaluable support our volunteers give through their time, exceptional knowledge, enthusiasm and deep attachment to this very special place - Ashdown Forest.

Location: Ashdown Forest, United Kingdom