High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Ashdown Forest, situated 30 miles 48.3 km south of London in the county of East Sussex, England, is an area of tranquil open heathland and woodland on the highest sandy ridge-top of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It reaches its highest altitude of 732 feet 223 m above sea level at Greenwood Gate Clump near King's Standing and offers expansive views across the High Weald in all directions, but particularly northwards toward the Greensand Ridge and North Downs, and southwards to the chalk escarpment of the South Downs. Ashdown Forest's origins lie in Norman times as a royal forest set aside for deer-hunting. By 1283 the forest was fenced in by a 23 miles 37.0 km pale enclosing a hunting park of 20.5 square miles 5,300 ha. Gates and hatches in the pale allowed local people to enter to graze their livestock, collect firewood and cut heather and bracken for animal bedding. In 1693 more than half the forest was taken into private hands. The rest, some 9.5 square miles 2,500 ha, remained common land that today is entirely open for public access subject to various byelaws.