Ashdown Forest: Fire breaks out in Winnie the Pooh wood

Fire in Ashdown Forest Image copyright Pete Abel
Image caption The fire covered an area of 6 hectares (14 acres) at its height

A fire has been burning overnight near woods featured in AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories.

The blaze in Ashdown Forest was reported at 21:30 BST on Sunday, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said.

Gorse and undergrowth was ablaze affecting an area of up to 50 acres (20 hectares), in the Kingstanding area.

At its height six fire crews were on the scene. This has now been scaled back to four fire engines and crews, a fire service spokesman said.

Image copyright Pete Abel
Image caption The fire in Ashdown Forest was reported at about 21:30 BST on Sunday

AA Milne created the Winnie the Pooh books in the 1920s while living in the area, near Hartfield.

The woods were the inspiration for Hundred Acre Wood – home to Pooh and his friends.

Image copyright Pete Abel
Image caption Fire crews remain on the scene on Monday morning

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Ashdown Forest is in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with heathland making up about two-thirds of its 6,500 acres (2,500 hectares).

It was originally used for deer hunting in Norman times, and has been given national and international protection because of its wildlife.

Two fires in February were started accidentally by volunteers during planned burning.

The Conservators of Ashdown Forest said “a freak gust of wind combined with unseasonably dry conditions” was to blame the fires on 26 February.

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