Response from the owner - a year ago
Here is our response to some of comments raised in Jenny Taylor's review.
1. The reserve is fenced to allow our grazing animals to be safe and at the correct density to help manage the reserve for the rare wildlife found there. As Jenny states the heath landscape of the Ashdown Forest was created by humans clearing the woodland, grazing management allows to rare heathland plants and animals to survive.
2. We require dogs to be kept on a lead during the nesting season. Many rare heathland birds, such as the woodlark, are ground nesting and easily disturbed by running dogs. Also adders are found at this nature reserve.
3. The ponds at Old Lodge have been a great success, many rare dragonflies now thrive at this site and it is one of the best places for dragonflies on the Ashdown Forest.
4. The pine at Old Lodge is an old plantation, which was planted before the Trust was involved in the site, the Trust has cleared much of this pine from the site and is restoring these areas to heathland.
5. Old Lodge is great for birdlife, nightjar, woodcock, stonechat, cuckoo etc can all be seen at this site.
6. All management decisions are based on scientific research, copies of the Old Lodge management plan are available to view at the Trust's Woods Mill offices
Old Lodge nature reserve is certainly worth a visit, it is interesting at all times of the year, but looks spectacular in the late summer when the heather is in flower. Visit our webpage here: https://www.sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/visit/old-lodge