Interestingly the most recent (guest written a couple of years back...Milne was dead) Winnie The Pooh book features Christopher Robin riding across the Ashdown Forest on his shiny bicycle. I spoke to the folks in the Winnie The pooh shop in Hartfield and they remember pre 1974 riding across the forest on bikes with no problem.
The problems there started (as far as I'm aware), with The Ashdown Forest Act 1974. Section 2 forbids mechanical vehicles (or similar...been a while since I read it) and The Conservators (Main Problem) are hell bent on stopping bikes. The signs bear the legend, Bikes cause erosion etc(compared to horses...like ffff etc). This reaches hysterical levels when the wardens/rangers pounce on any cyclist who dares to pull into one of their car parks for a snack or a puncture etc.
Some of us.....and I only know this from fellow tyre tracks....do lay rubber on sacred turf on a fairly regular basis...in a non insulting way of course.
The last altercation I had there ran to....
Are you aware of the Ashdown Forest act of 1974?
Yes, but 1974 was a pretty shit year wasn't it.....and I rode off