Buxted, Five Ash Down and High Hurstwood the main villages of the Parish are situated in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty between the North and South Downs. The Weald was originally an area of land between two lines of chalk hills called the North and South Downs. Weald is an old English word for “forest” and this area across Kent and Sussex included Ashdown, Tilgate and St. Leonard’s forests which remain today. Uckfield and Crowborough are the nearest market towns.
The village of Buxted sits astride the main Sussex east / west trunk road the A272, the London to Uckfield railway line, and the river Uck. Five Ash Down and High Hurst Wood are a few miles to the east and north east respectively. Depending on your point of view, they are either in the middle of nowhere, or in the middle of everywhere, and have easy access to the larger towns of Brighton, Eastbourne, and Tunbridge Wells, shown below and to the M23 and M25 motorways.
Buxted is one of the names that indicate the character of the Weald - it means place of beeches, although there is an alternative etymology provided by a local resident and an interesting discussion on this topic here. Although not mentioned in the Domesday Book, Buxted has had a long and interesting history, and has been an important village in Sussex over many centuries,most notably perhaps in the 16th and 17th centuries as a centre for iron and cannon manufacturing. The population of Buxted Parish is approx. 3,300 although this figure is likely to increase as a result of Government plans for housing development in South East England. Buxted Parish is a rural community, enjoying beautiful High Weald countryside with numerous public footpaths, some of which are long-distance footpaths. The Wealdway passes through Buxted Park, and Five Ash Down where deer can often be seen and the Vanguard Way also runs through the parish. Ashdown Forest, which covers an area of some 14,000 acres is only a few miles away. These areas all have a wide variety of flora and fauna.