Massive Fire Breaks Out In Forest That Inspired Winnie The Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood

The Walt Disney Company

There is always an inspiration of some sort behind the stories that we loved as children and hold onto as adults, but there is also trouble lurking around every corner. The Ashdown Forest in Sussex, England is the inspiration behind the Hundred Acre Wood which people around the world know as the home of Winnie the Pooh and his friends. Sadly, there was a massive fire in the forest overnight which caused a great deal of damage.

CNN reported that the blaze began around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday evening and it spread enough to affect more than 35 acres of the forest. A great deal of undergrowth was extremely dry in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it led to the fire spreading strongly and quickly.

There were crews from Mayfield, Uckfield, Crowborough, Forest Row, Seaford, Heathfield, and Lewes on the scene and working together to put out the fire. Incident Commander Andrew Gausden said things spread rather quickly and seven crews were definitely needed.

“The fire took hold quickly and was significant. [There was] approximately 15 hectares [50 acres] alight in a valley area behind the back of Duddleswell.”

Those fire crews worked along with Sussex Police and Ashdown Forest Rangers who used drones to survey the fire ground from above.

Once the fire started getting bigger, safety crews used Land Rovers and all-terrain vehicles to access areas that were difficult to reach.

By 10 a.m., more than 12 hours after the fire initially started, the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said crews were able to leave the forest. Returns to the scene were expected later in the day for re-inspection of everything and to make sure all was safe.

As of this time, it’s still not known what caused the fire that damaged the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood. The Ashdown Forest Rangers, Sussex Police, and others will be working together to investigate the origin and cause of the fire as per Commander Gausden.

“We are not looking at it being a deliberate fire at this time. Investigations will take place over the next few days.”

It was confirmed by the police that arson is not suspected at this time, but the investigation will look at all angles and possibilities.

The Ashdown Forest is near where A.A. Milne lived and it brought about the inspiration for the numerous Winnie the Pooh books which were written in the ’20s. Fans can see a lot of that in the biopic from 2017 which was called Goodbye Christopher Robin and detailed Milne’s journey as a child and into adulthood.