Pooh Bridge to be upgraded

September 24, 2010

Here is some news that would bring a smile to the faces of millions of Winnie the Pooh fans around the world. After a decade of prolonged discussion on plans to improve the Pooh Bridge in Ashdown Forest, an idea has finally been put forward. Nearly 35,000 people visit this Hartfield, East Sussex landmark which is part of Winnie the Pooh stories.

A.A Milne on the Pooh Sticks bridge

The Pooh Bridge and Ashdown Forest itself are considered to be a part of the British heritage and the place is one of the most frequented places in the county. But despite being a tourist hot-spot, the facilities were not up to the mark. With limited parking space, narrow lanes alongside the parked cars and paths leading to the actual bridge poorly signed and in some places muddy, it all added to the visitor experience not being a great one.

The Andenaes Family, who are the owners of the land, has signed an agreement with the East Sussex County Council to improve access to the bridge. This agreement paves the way to allow the East Sussex County Council to building a new improved car park and also improve access to bridge.

Matthew Lock, East Sussex county councilor and member of cabinet for transport and environment, said in a statement: "Pooh Bridge is an important part of our heritage and a popular attraction for both local people and visitors from further afield.

"I am delighted that, working with Mr and Mrs Andenaes, the owners of the land, and with the backing of so many different organisations, we have been able to bring forward a scheme to improve the paths and make visits to the bridge an easier and a more enjoyable experience."

The negotiations between the two parties has taken some 10-years, while Ashdown Forest Conservators, Hartfield Parish Council, local residents' associations and Wealden District Council have also been part of the talks.

The original name of the Pooh Bridge was Posingford Bridge and dates from at least 1907.

A.A. Milne who lived in a house not too far from this bridge was inspired to write stories about the playing days of his son Christopher Robin Milne and also create a game called Poohsticks.

There are suggestions being made that by the first week of October 2010 a diversion order will be given for public consultation.