Introduction: A 42ha, Forestry Commission-owned woodland with an excellent all-weather circular path and which provides access to the spectacular Harrison's Rocks - one of the most well-known sandstone rock outcrops in the High Weald. Well worth a visit!
Location: near Groombridge, East Sussex. From Groombridge, head out of the village past the old station and over the Spa Valley Railway.After 200m, take the right fork. Look carefully for the right turn at 150m into the entrance track, signed "Birchden Wood". Birchden Wood can also be reached on foot via the High Weald Landscape Trail and other footpaths.
What can I do? You can walk the circular and waymarked Easy Access Trail. The routes of the High Weald Landscape Trail and Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk runs through the site.
What can I see? Dense white-barked birch woodland and sandstone outcrops at neighbouring Harrison's rocks, and some amazing carved sculptures. Reptiles such as slow worms and adders in the spring and glow worms in the summer.
What can I hear? Steam trains tooting as they pass at weekends on the nearby Spa Valley Railway. Nightjars churring on summer evenings.
Information available: A pdf site welcome board (4.48 MB) and pdf 3 further site Interpretation Boards (7.34 MB) help you explore the fascinating history and character of Birchden Wood.
Grid reference: TQ533363(OS Map)
OS map: 135 (Explorer, 1:25,000)
Opening times: All year
Prices: A discretionary donation is requested for use of the car park.
Dogs allowed: Yes.
Terrain: Mostly well-made forestry tracks with gentle inclines, and some smaller, unsurfaced paths which might be muddy at times. A 1.5km Easy Access Trail leads out from the car park and is suitable for wheelchairs and buggies. It also has accessible benches spaced along its length.
Nearest train station: Eridge, (mainline) 1.5 miles.
Groombridge (Spa Valley Steam Railway) 0.5 mile. Visit Spa Valley Railway for Tunbridge Wells to Groombridge timetable and connections to mainline at Eridge.
Nearest NCN route: Route 21 is 1 mile
Where can I park? Large car park and toilet block with hot running water available. The toilet block is not suitable for wheelchairs.
Where can I get further information? Forestry Commission website
Site enhancements 2009 - 2012
The major enhancement was the 1,500m Easy Access Trail, which runs from the car park in a circular route through the birch woodland and intersects with several other footpaths and forest tracks. Several benches provide resting places and the Trail has information boards and chainsaw sculptures that help interpret the site and bring it to life for adults and children alike.
Welcome boards and waymarking in the car park guide visitors out into the wider site.
Ecological enhancements carried out included coppicing and ride widening.
The 2009 - 2012 site enhancements were funded by the Weald Forest Ridge Landscape Partnership Scheme, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.