FUMING locals have blasted inconsiderate tourists who ruin their beautiful 'Hundred Acre Wood' and rip out parking signs.
Residents living near Ashdown Forest, in East Sussex, are fed-up with selfish visitors defacing the area, which inspired the famous Winnie the Pooh woodland.
Parking charges have sparked outrage with some tourists, and 18 signs have been torn down within the last two weeks.
Meanwhile, since November, there have been a whopping 47 signs damaged beyond repair – resulting in an eye-watering £6,772 bill for forest management.
One visitor, Janet Fairhall, said: “We’re horrified. We understand you have to pay something towards the maintenance of this beautiful place.
“It’s really well-managed and we don’t want it to turn back into a wilderness that no-one can access.
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“We feel it maybe just one person or a couple of people carrying out these acts of vandalism in the dead of night.
"Hopefully they’ll realise that we’re all aware of it and keeping our eyes peeled and that will act as a deterrent.”
Another visitor, who did not wish to be named, said: “This isn’t the same as London’s ULEZ charge – it is only a small charge and all national parks have parking charges these days.
“People who come to this beautiful forest should contribute a little something so that others can continue to enjoy it.”
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Ashdown Forest is famous for inspiring the Hundred Acre Wood, the setting of AA Milne's Winnie the Pooh books.
The forest, covering 10 square miles, is an Area of Outstanding Beauty.
Families can throw sticks over Poohsticks Bridge and race them down stream, just as Pooh did with Eeyore, Tigger and Christopher Robin in the popular children's tale.
Thousands of children race to the replica bridge to play the game and forest managers claim most people are happy to pay for parking.
However, what is believed to be a small group of vandals continue to deface parking signs.
The fares are a new addition and were created to help maintain the popular forest.
They start and £2 per hour or motorists can opt for a reasonable £5 daily fee.
An annual pass is also available for £80, while those receiving benefits can get a concessionary charge of £5 per year.
We’re horrified. We understand you have to pay something towards the maintenance of this beautiful place."
But, recent destruction of property is now "eroding" funds that were set to be funnelled into woodland upkeep.
Managers are now being forced to fork out hoards of cash to replace nearly 20 signs, each of which cost £99.
This money could have been put towards filling in potholes, restoring gates, bridges and entrances to the busy area, say woodland authorities.
Mark Infield, Landscape Recovery Manager at Ashdown Forest, said: “We are experiencing some serious vandalism and this has spiked in the last couple of weeks. But we believe this either one person or a very small number of people.
“We thought long and hard before introducing parking charges and a lot of thought has been put into it to make it fair.
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“There is £5 annual charge for those on benefits as we didn’t want anyone excluded who was less able to afford to pay. We have sold 230 of those annual passes so it shows the scheme is working.
“These are important revenues to help us keep the forest open and safe, but these attacks are definitely eroding that money.”
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