The Ashdown Forest is known as the inspiration for Winnie-the-Pooh's fictional home, Hundred Acre Wood. The real-life forest inspired the children's story created by author AA Milne.
If you were a child who enjoyed reading books, especially the character of Winnie The Pooh, we may have some bad news. The Ashdown Forest, which is the inspiration behind the fictional home of the iconic character, has confirmed to have caught fire. On Monday night, nearly 50 acres of the Ashdown Forest in Sussex County, United Kingdom, was engulfed in flames.
"We received numerous calls at 9:30 last night from members of the public and the police regarding a fire in the Ashdown Forest. The fire took hold quickly and was significant," Andrew Gausden, an official of East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, told Today.
The Ashdown Forest is known as the inspiration for Winnie-the-Pooh's fictional home, Hundred Acre Wood. The real-life forest inspired the children's story Of Winnie The Pooh, thanks to the author A.A. Milne who lived in the area. Milne lived near the town of Hartfield, in the 1920s, when he came up with "The Hundred Acre Woods."
The honey in Winnie the Pooh has NO business looking that delicious. pic.twitter.com/7reVDd1EiS— 💣Ball of Mistakes💣 (@JiggityJFraizzy) April 28, 2019
"It's unusual to have a fire of this size at night. This seems to have caught hold before people noticed the fire," Andrew Gausden, from the fire service, told BBC. "The undergrowth was very dry in the forest, despite the recent rain, and the fire caught quite quickly. "We had numerous calls, including from the police who have a training center nearby."
Chris Sutton, an Ashdown Ranger forest ranger, was hopeful that the animals and insects from surrounding areas would quickly repopulate the area in a few weeks time. "Reptiles like adders and lizards would not have been able to move fast enough. Large animals like foxes and deer would have been able to move out of the area quite quickly," he said.
"All is not lost - within four weeks we'll have grass growing and in six months you probably won't know too much has gone on here." Thanks to its huge wildlife population, the forest has been under national and international protection. Although Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends are just imaginary inhabitants, there are many other animals living in the forest that have been affected by the fire.
Ashdown Forest.— Nick (@Schenzey) April 29, 2019
Two separate lines of fire a mile away- two separate ignition points? But Hundred acre wood safe and untouched. Eeyore’s place possibly a bit singed. Damage this am not as bad as expected - great job by the Firefighters. pic.twitter.com/BnmGVgPaxh
Although the cause of the fire is still yet to be ascertained, authorities have ruled that it may not have been intentional. They also believe that since the area received rain, the dry undergrowth may have helped the fire spread more quickly. The Sussex Police Department and Ashdown Forest Rangers are also helping with the investigation.
“We are not looking at it being a deliberate fire at this time,” an official said. “Investigations will take place over the next few days.”
If you are a millennial, you may have seen the 2017 biopic Goodbye Christopher Robin, that follows Milne making up stories about Pooh for his son Christopher Robin during their trips together in the woods. Although the character came out almost a century ago, Milne's "Winnie-the-Pooh" is a rage among kids even today.
The Ashwood forests are a popular tourist destination, not just for Brits but for people internationally, thanks to Winnie The Pooh character. Many enjoy the tranquil nature of the forest as they walk through the English countryside, which is located about an hour and a half drive by car from London.