Home » Creativity » Brede High Wood, East Sussex

Brede High Wood, East Sussex


My second visit here which should have made it an easier trip over but for extensive roadworks at Polegate on the A27 which lost me a good 20 minutes; I usually use Waze to dodge this kind of thing and would have cut across country further in land or along the coast.

I’m back because I want to witness that transition through early autumn as the leaves change; I rather think that rather than a great crescendo of colour, that there are instead staccato events over several weeks depending on which trees you are looking at – the sweet horse chestnut are early, British oak is late. We will see, or my homework reading The Woodland Trust management plan for these woods, their magazine and other research will do its job.

I’m not about to disappear through the woods and around the reservoir for 2 1/2 hours; I might manage it but our dog Evie is getting tired after 1 at best 1 1/2 hours so I have to keep things shorter or come alone.

Brede High Wood from West Gate Car Park, All Trails

I have become dependent on All Trails. In the past I have got lost with Google Maps which are fine until you leave the road and I’ve got an Ordnance Survey subscription that I am yet to fully test.

I was looking for change, the streams, the trees, the sites and smells. A tractor was out doing what I could only describe as ‘scarrifying’ the bracken/gorse in a clearing not far from the reservoir. I need to read the Brede Wood Management Plan from the Woodland Trust again to get the lowdown on this; these woods are managed. Parts of it were once farmland. Parts of it were once plantations now being thinned. In places invasive species such as Rhododendron have been removed.

The patchwork of different elements to this wood will become clearer in time. I need to arm myself with a map design for and about the woods.

The Hidden History of Brede High Wood

I also feel I need to be getting out pen and paper to pick out the features in a way that makes them more clear: I am drawn to the sound of a brook which makes it feature so much bigger in my mind than it appears in a photograph. These trickles of bouncing water mean something to me, bring back important childhood memories of being left to play in such spaces creating dams and laying sticks out – even redirecting the water in tiny rivulets.


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