How much is it to park on Ashdown Forest in 2022?

Visitors to Ashdown Forest will soon be charged for parking at locations around the Sussex beauty spot, after charges of up to £6 were confirmed after conservators rejected the views of more than half of people who took part in the consultation.

Here we look at how much visitors who arrive by car will be charged. 

Woman stressed searching for Amazon contact with real personVisitors to Ashdown Forest could soon be charged for parking at areas including Gill's Lap, pictured  (Credit: Poliphilo/Wikipedia)

Who is behind the car park charges on Ashdown Forest?

The proposals to change the previously free parking model on the Sussex to a paid version came from The Conservators of Ashdown Forest.

When is the start date of charging for parking?

The plan is to introduce the parking fees in August 2022, according to the latest update.

How much are the new parking charges?

The new parking charges are expected to be as follows (tbc).

Duration Charge
Up to 1 hour £2
Up to 2 hours £2.50
Up to 4 hours £4
All day £6
Annual pass £80

What forest car parks will be covered by the charging system?

Initially, the scheme mentions parking machines in five locations across the beauty spot: Forest Centre, Gill’s Lap, King’s Standing, Box and Long car parks. Moving forward, a ‘forest-wide’ charging scheme is said to be planned by the conservators.

Will I need to get a new ticket if I move between car parks?

No, an update in April confirmed a single valid ticket can be used to park on any of the car parks included in the payment scheme.

Will I need to buy a ticket to stop to buy an ice cream or stretch my legs?

No - there will be a 15-minute grace period before visitors will need to buy a ticket. 

Will the Pooh Bridge car park be included in the scheme?

It is not clear if Pooh car park, and several others (the two A22 Millbrook car parks) will be included in the scheme, as these are owned by East Sussex County Council. Talks between the two parties have taken place but no decision has been made as yet.

Will it be mobile phone payments only for the car parks?

It appears that the Conservators are looking at the possibility of using mobile phone payments through an app and additional on-site machines for car park payment – with a test stating that signal coverage is “sufficient across the majority of car parks”.

The concern could be for some drivers with older mobile phones is that they would not be able to use the payment apps, or machines – if security considerations meant ticket machines in remote locations on the forest were powered by a cash-less payment system.

The update from the conservators says: "A range of methods to pay for parking will be possible. The details of the payment system have not been finalized."

Could parking charges result in damage to verges and dangerous parking on forest roads?

The report mentions both of these as possibilities – meaning officials targeting drivers who park on tracks or verges – and concerns that yellow lines would need to painted on roads across an area of natural beauty.

Where can I read the original proposal?

You can read the initial parking proposal here and we will update this articles with future developments.  

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