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Ashdown Forest, part 2 - Gills Lap

As Rowan hadn’t got home until late, moving on had to be done after nightfall. I had had it in mind to get to the next park up so that I was set up before and if the car park gets busy. There were two large car parks next to each other. The second of which I had plumped for. It looked the less busier of the two when viewed on the satellite map.

I arrived in no time and turned into the second car park as intended. I noticed that the entrance was a bit rutted, a mound appeared as I became aware that I had turned into a building plot! The car park is no longer a car park. Quickly realising the trouble I was in, I slowly kept going with the intention of turning around. However, the weight of the trailer in the mud became such that forward momentum was not possible. I had to reverse back around the mound to the entrance.

Everything was going okay until, in the poor light, I misjudged the reversing angle of my trailer and caught enough of the mound of dirt to not be able to move. I walked around to assess the situation and formulated an extraction plan. I first dug away enough of the mound to make the job easier. Annoyingly, I managed to hit one of the tail lens’, breaking it. Fortunately, I was able to bodge it back on later. I then unhitched the trailer. I gambled that the truck would be able pull itself out. It did. I then repositioned the truck, then, using a two-ton strop, carefully pulled my caravan round. I was then able to re-hitch and go. I then simply pulled into the car park next door.

The next morning, I had a wander around. I discovered that the moorland across the road is Eeyore’s Gloomy Place (Wren’s Warren Valley ).

I had a brief look at the information board. A charge of £5 was required to park in the car park!

I went for a walk through a clump of Pine.

The Enchanted Place is a large clump of Pine known as Gills Lap Clump. There are a number of clumps, generally, Scots Pine.

I then followed a path that took me a lone Pine.

The Heffalump trap

I then continued along another path

to a clump of Holly, Ash and Pine

where there is a memorial to A. A. Milne and E. H. Shepard

I then continued on to complete the path home.



Crab Apple

A while later, whilst just chilling, a couple of vehicles came blasting into the car park. They were rangers. They took photographs of my combo. One ranger, who I’m led to believe is the head ranger, met me at my door. He seemed harassed and consequently, rude. He talked at me, going on about bye-laws and fines. I think he quoted £500. He also told me that the smoke from my burner was filtering through the tree canopy. Finally, he said something along the lines of “I don’t want to see you here in the morning.” I just looked at him, then when he appeared to be finished, simply shut my door. I didn’t bother to waste my breath engaging him. I didn’t want confrontation. I had basically only just got here and intended on taking my time crossing the Forest. I didn’t want to give him an accuse to harangue and harass me to the border of the Forest.

Less than half an hour later,a parking attendant appeared. We got chatting. Bernie was really informative and helpful. He related the story of why parking charges had been introduced. It seems that East Sussex County Council bought the land from the de la Warr family some years back dirt cheap. At the time, government funding existed. Recently, the present government have rescinded funding. As a result, the council can no longer pay for the maintenance of the Forest, hence parking charges. Of course thousands of pounds have been spent on installing relevant information boards, altering some of the car parks and employing a company to collect the parking fees, for which, they also no doubt take a commission.

After the incident with the rangers, I became aware that they had clearly been getting telephone calls from from nimby people. I noticed one young woman in particular, blatantly jot down the registration number of the truck. I took no notice. I had always intended on moving on that evening, anyway.

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Four of the nastiest words going when strung together... "Git orf moi land" Pfft!!! Your aloof silence was entirely appropriate Steve! 👍🙂

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