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Ashdown Forest, part 3 - Nutley Windmill walk

Updated: May 8, 2023

Michael telephoned to say that he was going to catch up for a visit. I said that I was going to move on to a car park at something called Ellison’s Pond. He said that he would meet me there. What I didn’t realise was that he was actually about to be leaving right then. A while later, I was just chilling when the ‘phone rang. It was Michael. He was at the car park, I wasn’t. Surprised, I said that I would head over as soon as the burner had died down and therefore safe to travel.

An hour or so later, I arrived. He had bought some fish and volunteered to do dinner. That was a delightful change. We sat around chatting for the evening. Later, we agreed that we should park in different car parks so as not to attract unwanted attention. Michael shot across the road to the bigger, potentially busier car park.


The next morning, after a relaxing cup of tea, we decided to go for a walk. We set off West along the path.

We eventually reached a clump of Scots Pine, known as Friends clump.

We continued on, enjoying the incredible views.

A path with a Holly hedge diverted away from the main path.

At the end of the path is Nutley windmill. It is a 16th.c windmill, which is undergoing a full restoration.

Michael and I were met by a man who introduced himself as Robert Pike. He is one of the small number of volunteers who are working on the windmill. A little chat about what is going on quickly turned into a guided tour of the windmill. Robert is very informative and explained what was going on, including all the logistics of removing, repairing and replacing things like the sails. One of the sails had broken away and damaged the main body of the windmill. He went through some of the difficulties and costs. For one particular section, they could only find a large enough Sessile Oak in Yorkshire, which had to be felled and transported to Sussex. One single Oak beam cost them £8,500! They manage to keep going on donations. Crowdfunding has really helped, too. Michael graciously immediately donated a sum.

The propshaft turns the first cog



Robert kindly made us a cup of tea and provided some nice biscuits, for which Michael left a donation. Nutley windmill turned into a lovely surprise. We were lucky, too. It turns out that the volunteers are only there on Wednesdays, other than open days. If you would like to find out more about this wonderful project, just research Nutley Windmill. It is one of only five left in the country.

Leaving the windmill, we made our way in a northeasterly direction, passing a huge mansion on the hill.

We stopped at the Garden of Eden waterfall.

Turning southeasterly, we climbed what became the most exhausting stretch.

Finally, we reached Camp Hill.

We then turned southwest, towards home.

The South Downs can be seen in the far distance

Just before the car park, is Ellison’s Pond, which in fact, turns out to be two.

Pussy Willow

Greater Cuckooflower among Gorse

Within a couple of minutes of reaching home, Bernie appeared. We let him know that as a direct result of his help, information and all-round pleasant demeanour, Michael had donated a sum through the parking charge scheme.

*photo courtesy of Mike S Smith

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