Friends Clump Ashdown Forest

Friends Clump

A Walk Amongst Friends (Friends of Ashdown Forest, PDF)

  • 1.7m, 2.8k
  • One steep climb back to Friends Clump

This short walk through heath and woodland, begins at  Friends Clump, one of Ashdown Forest’s iconic ‘clumps’. Clumps of Scots pines were first ordered to be planted here in 1825 by Elizabeth, Countess de la Warr, whose descendants owned the Forest until 1988. In 1973 The Friends of Ashdown Forest decided to commemorate the “Year of the Tree” by planting the Friends’ Clump, which is at the start of this walk. The Clumps are a prominent feature of the Ashdown Forest landscape and serve as useful markers for visitors.

The walk passes Nutley Windmill, a  fine example of the oldest post mill design, known since the 12th century. The mill is believed to be about 300 years old, and is occassionally open to visitors. Continuing through trees and then on to open heath, the  walk reaches the bottom of Millbrook Valley,   once the site of a Saxon iron smelting furnace, before a steep ascent back to the start.