Visitors must pay to park at the popular beauty spot that inspired Winnie-the-Pooh.
Ashdown Forest introduced charging for all of its 45 car parks to ‘ensure safe access and its long-term future’.
There is the possibility of discounted passes for those on Universal Credit or any form of income support.
From today, parking charges are £2 for one hour, £2.50 for up to two hours, £4 for up to four hours and £5 for the whole day.
Ashdown Forest was the inspiration for Hundred Acre Wood when Winnie the Pooh author AA Milne lived there on Cotchford Farm. The founding member of the Rolling Stones, Brian Jones, later lived there and died in the swimming pool.
Ashdown Forest CEO James Adler said: “We hope our visitors understand that by paying to park they are contributing to the long-term future and conservation of the forest.
“There is so much to cherish and protect here, from the legacy of Winnie-the-Pooh to the unique lowland heathland that is of international conservation importance. There is great infrastructure for visitors on the forest, including parking lots, bridges and miles of trails. Many need maintenance and repairs.”
The parking lots are managed by Horizon Parking.
The company also manages the concessions program, which will help a number of households who may be struggling with the new payments.
The Concessionary Annual Pass is £5 and the Concessionary Day Pass is £1 if you’re on Universal or Pension Credit or any of the Inheritance Benefits such as Child Allowance, Housing Benefit, Income Support, Earnings-based Unemployment Benefit, Earnings-Related Employment and Support Allowance and Labor Tax Credit.
Some residents have said they will not use the parking spaces due to the new fees.
James added: “We recognize that this is a big change from how visitors to the forest have experienced in the past. Funds provided by our visitors go towards caring for the place they love. We envisage a sustainable future for Ashdown Forest and every park fee paid will play a significant role in that.”
Visit the Ashdown Forest website for more information.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23139532.visitors-start-paying-parking-ashdown-forest/?ref=rss Visitors pay to park in Ashdown Forest