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Explore Birchden Wood
(Average user rating: unrated unrated)

Birchden Wood - coppice regrowthBirchden is a 45 hectare wood.  Close to Royal Tunbridge Wells, it has a car park and toilet block. 

Birchden is predominantly broadleaf (birch), with small amounts of Douglas fir and pine.  It has a 1.5km easy access trail with historical interpretation and sculptures created through a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

Adjacent to the wood is the famous sandstone outcrop Harrison’s Rocks.

Birchden offers cycling and, walking, but no horse riding.

Camp Site and Parking Charges

The pay by credit card facility for the machine is still not working.

The machine is coin only – no notes. We truly apologise for the inconvenience this causes. Please make sure you bring sufficient change with you.

For those camping for a number of nights there is the option to pay for your camping and parking by credit card over the phone. The number for this is 0300 067 4480 – Monday – Friday 9am – 4pm. Please leave a message if you are calling out of hours or if the phone is not answered, leaving your name, contact number and a short message. We will then get back to you to arrange to take payment. Please ensure that you have secured a pitch on site before arranging to take payment.

Parking and camping charges

  • Car £1 per hour, £4 all day and £6 for 24 hours.  
  • Minibuses £2 per hour, £6 per day or £8 for 24 hours.  
  • Coaches £3 per hour, £10 for the day, no over night stay.  
  • Camping £5 per adult and £2.50 for children.

Visit often? Purchase a Discovery Pass at £27 per year for unlimited parking and many other benefits.

If you are planning to use the campsite at Birchden Wood please download a copy of the camp site rules , please note that there is no shower on site. 

Background Information to the facilities

The toilet block and car park at Birchden Wood was originally built for the British Mountaineering Council with finance from Sport England for the use of climbers visiting nearby Harrison’s Rocks and other forest users.  Sport England took out a lease on the building with the Forestry Commission and funded the management and maintenance of the facilities for a number of years.

The funding to maintain and manage the toilet block and the lease with Sport England has come to an end and the toilet block and car park reverted back to the Forestry Commission on the 9th of November 2014.

Without funding the facilities were at risk of closure.  However local people and climbers raised awareness regarding how important the toilet block was in supporting climbers using Harrison’s Rocks and in keeping the forest clean and tidy for all visitors. 

Sustaining the facilities

An online discussion was held to look at options to keep the toilet block open.  The feedback indicated that it was felt acceptable to charge for the use of the car park and campsite in order to sustain the management and maintenance of the facilities.  A discussion summary is also available to view.  There has been a fee for camping and collection box for parking fees at Birchden Wood for a number of years, however, more regulated charging is required in order to support the upkeep of the facilities. 

What do other visitors say?

I am a regular walker in Birchden wood and have recently seen and heard some birds of prey in the pines. Can you tell me what these birds might be?

Mandy Green, 11/Aug/2016

We're glad you enjoy Birchden Wood. It's difficult to say what the bird was without a picture but it may have been a sparrow hawk as they sometimes hunt through the trees or along hedgerows.

Forestry Commission Response

I was pointed to the car park as the start of a 10 mile walk in the area, but faced with a 6 charge, I went and parked elsewhere on the route and walked in. 6 is too expensive for a single visitor.

John Bray, 1/May/2016

Great job you've done with the maintenance and access to the car park! keep up the good work.

Anonymous, 25/Apr/2016
More user comments

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Last updated: 5th October 2016

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OS Grid ref: TQ534360

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Kate Harris

0300 067 4465
Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.