Skip Navigation

More about Brede High Woods

This stunning mosaic of ancient and secondary woodland, open heathland and acid grassland is located on the north-east shore of Powdermill Reservoir in East Sussex, in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It has a rich history and a diverse range of wildlife.

At 647 acres, Brede High Woods is one of the largest sites owned by the Woodland Trust in England and is a stunning mosaic of ancient and secondary woodland, both broadleaved and conifer; heathland; coppice; and small ponds, springs and streams.

The vast and diverse array of habitats adds to the intriguing nature of this site which is rich in both history and wildlife, with an astounding range of threatened and unusual species. There are also the remains of a typical High Weald landscape – woods and small fields connected by shaws and hedges, along with boundary banks, ditches and sunken tracks.

Great Crested Newt 250X250
Great crested newt

The ponds and streams provide perfect habitats for water voles and great crested newts, whilst spotted flycatchers can be seen along the woodland edges and, in the summer, the rare silver-washed fritillary butterfly can be seen throughout the glades.

There are 55 ancient woodland plants and trees including bluebell, wood anemone and primrose; and rarer species such as green hellebore and wild service tree.

Once part of the Weald’s iron smelting industry, Brede High’s historical influence is present throughout the site today. As well as remnants of former fields and orchards, there are saucer-shaped bell pits, boundary banks, a sunken lane, and a 33 feet high feature called ‘Chequer Tree Cliff’ where clay was once extracted – all fascinating evidence of centuries of human activity.

There is much to see and discover at Brede High Woods and the easy access paths make it a joy to explore.

A book by professional ecologist Patrick Roper about Brede High Woods explains the geography, history and wildlife of this classic Wealden landscape. 

Join us for a walk, see the beauty of the wood through a lens or wrap up warm and blow away the cobwebs with friends and family.


Brede High Woods lie on the south-facing slopes of a tributary valley of the River Brede, six miles north of Hastings and five miles north-east of Battle, in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty just south of the B2089 between Cripps Corner and Broad Oak Brede.

OS Explorer 124 and 125, Landranger 199, TQ804206.

Access and walks

There are 15 entrances into the wood from the surrounding roads and lanes. Most have narrow squeeze gaps. From the two car parks there are routes into the wood via a squeeze gap, kissing gate or steps. Three of the tracks into the wood from the B2089 are surfaced from the entrances, but beyond that most rides and paths are unsurfaced and very prone to waterlogging. Some are also very rutted. Several have grassy surfaces but most are bare soil. There are some moderate gradients leading down towards the reservoir to the south.

From the bus stop follow the pavement east on the B2089, looking out for the Woodland Trust logo on a small squeeze-gap entrance on the other side of the road.

There are many other entrances to the woods. Download the free Brede High Woods leaflet (PDF 4.71 MB) for details.


By bus
The closest bus stop is at Cripps Corner about 1⁄4 mile (400m) from the nearest entrance into the wood. Walk on the pavement on the north side of the B2089 to the entrance, taking care when crossing the busy road. Bus services are provided by Stagecoach route number 349 from Hastings to Hawkhurst, with a journey time of 35 minutes. Rambler Coaches route number 383 from Robertsbridge High Street runs once a day, with a journey time of 15 minutes.

For further information on public transport, contact Traveline on 0871 200 2233 or visit

By train
The nearest train station is at Robertsbridge (about 6 miles from Brede) but Hastings (10 miles away) is the only train station that has a direct bus connection.

For further information on public transport, contract traveline on 0871 200 2233.

By car
Brede High Woods is located between Cripps Corner and Broad Oak Brede, south of the B2089 about 10 miles north of Hastings.

From Battle, head north towards Sevenoaks on the A2100 for three miles, then take the second exit at the roundabout onto the A21 Vinehall Road. After almost a mile turn left towards the B2089 and continue along this road for approximately three and a half miles.

The B2089 Broad Oak to Cripps Corner road runs along the northern edge of Brede, and there are two car parks marked by brown tourist signs, with parking for up to ten cars. Surrounding lanes have other entrances. There is a further car park behind the Red Lion Inn at Brede (grid. Ref. TQ826183).

Nearest amenities

Public conveniences
The nearest public toilets are in Sedlescombe in the public car park off Brede Lane, about four miles from Brede High Woods car park. Disabled facilities are available with RADAR key. There are no baby changing facilities.

For more information from Rother District Council call 01424 787878.

The nearest pub is the Red Lion Inn, Brede, TN31 6EJ (telephone 01424 882188), which serves lunch and evening meals every day (grid reference TQ826183).

Accommodation and tourist information
For Tourist Information Centres at Battle, Hastings and Rye, call South East Tourism on 0871 716 2449. Or visit: Battle in Sussex.

Entry into our woods is free but please donate now to help us care for them.