Ashdown Forest parking charges need permission


Plans to introduce charges to car parks in the Ashdown Forest are set to go before a senior county councillor next week.

In plans first proposed last year, the Board of Conservators of the Ashdown Forest are seeking to introduce charges to use its car parks.

The Board says the plans are hoped to help fund its conservation works, as its current sources of income are proving insufficient to cover its costs.

While the plans have already been approved by the Board itself, the introduction of charges requires the sign off of East Sussex County Council (ESCC) before coming into effect.

The power for the Conservators to introduce parking charges is set out in the Ashdown Forest Act 1974; but under the legislation they are required to seek the approval of the charges from ESCC, and invite Wealden District Council, the AA (Automobile Association) and the RAC (Royal Automobile Club) to comment.

This decision is expected to be made by Cllr Nick Bennett, the East Sussex County Council’s Lead Member for Resources and Climate Change, at a meeting on Thursday (28th April).

If approved by Cllr Bennett the charges would be expected to come into effect in August at all 47 of the Forest’s car parks.

While these charges have yet to be finalised, it is proposed that charges would start at between £1.50 to £2 for an hour and up to £6 for a full day’s parking.

The Board is also looking at introducing an annual parking pass costing somewhere in the region of between £80 to £100.

Click to download a copy of the report: Agenda for Lead Member for Resources and Climate Change on 28th April 2022.


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  1. I don’t disagree with the parking charge as long as the money is reinvested into the forest. However, they do then need to provide fixtures such as rubbish and dog bins as litter and dog mess are a real issue up there.

  2. Brian, since E. Sussex County Council (Conservative controlled) ignored the wishes of local people in the “consultation” there is no need to pretend to give a considered decision through the planning process. When local people vote with their feet against these outrageous charges, the red ink on the Conservators accounts will prove how arrogant and out of touch are local Conservative councillors.


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