Ashdown Forest in Pictures

Welcome to my project, ‘Ashdown Forest: Through the Seasons’. I have come to the end of Year 1 of my two year long project, in which I am documenting Ashdown Forest week by week, to show how the landscape changes throughout the year. For those that may not know, the Forest is found in Sussex, in the South East of England, and you may recognise the name from the Winnie the Pooh stories: more on that later!

Back in Autumn 2019 I decided it was about time I truly got to understand and explore the Forest. I wanted to appreciate its beauty, value each season and delve into its history and thus the ‘Ashdown Forest: Through the Seasons’ project was born! Since then I have been visiting the Forest on a regular basis to document the changing seasons, from autumn colours, to the frost, to the new growth, to flowering heather and shortly to fall and then around again.

The aim is for this two year long project to culminate in a self published book late 2021 and a photographic exhibition in Spring 2022.


As of November 2020, the project is going really well and I am very pleased with the photos I have to date. I have explored new walks, studied more about the history of the Forest and met many walkers along the way! I have run a Kickstarter for a Calendar, softcover Book and Greeting Cards which went extremely well and the finished hardback, 29x29cm book featuring 150 pages, should be set for self-publish in Autumn 2021.


I have included the best of my work below (Last Updated: Early November 2020), and I have ordered the photos in the time they were taken, Nov ’20 to Nov ’19, to reflect the seasons.

Those that have been following my work for a while will know I love rural life and I hope this project will sit along side the rest of my countryside and country life work which can be viewed here, portfolio.

Print copies of these photos are available upon request and do keep your eyes and ears out for a future announcement regarding the Book and Exhibition of this project. Please do ‘follow’ me on social media as I will definitely be promoting any major news. My instagram is @craigpaynephoto.

If you see me out and about, with or without Doug, my jack russell (you can’t miss his big ears!), then do say hello.

Please bare with the website, photos will load below shortly!

Comparison - A Year on from the Fire

I was really keen to document how the Forest looked a year on from the fire that I documented in 2019. I visited the same spots and have bought the photos together so you can compare the scenes!

While there was plenty of devastation, there are signs of the gorse, heather and holly all reestablishing themselves and the bracken and grasses quickly regenerated themselves last year! It will be interesting to see how the scenes look next year and I will try and add to these images once again.