Poohsticks Bridge work set to begin

October 30, 1999

The last stick has been cast at the original Pooh Bridge, Hartfield, as work to replace the structure, immortalised by A.A. Milne's stories, will begin early this week.

The playground of Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh, Piglet and friends is to be pulled down and replaced with a replica based on photographs from 1907. The total costs of the new bridge is expected to be about £46,000 and East Sussex County Council is seeking donations.

Timber construction firm Cox Brothers, from Maidstone, is underwriting the costs of designing and building the new bridge and will make up any shortfall from the total price. It is believed the magic of Disney will make some contribution to the re-building following the success of its Winnie the Pooh cartoons.

Locally-grown Greek oak will be used for the new structure and has been supplied free of charge by Morgan and Co timber merchants. The bridge will be removed intact and will be auctioned off at a later date. During the work the path will be closed and all vehicles and materials will approach the site from Upper Hartfield.

Bob Wilkins, director of East Sussex County Council's Transport and Environment Department, calmed fears the site could be turned into a Disney attraction, saying: "I would like to reassure residents that those making a substantial contribution to the bridge will only be entitled to recognition on a plaque near the bridge, similar to the existing one from work carried out in 1979."

For more information about this bridge or Ashdown Forest, check the Ashdown Forest information in the history section of this site.