High Weald

coopers_cottageCoopers Cottage is a detached Grade II listed building, set in Coopers Farm farmyard and surrounded by 90 acres of meadows, copses, ponds and streams in the middle of the High Weald AONB. If you're looking for peace and seclusion and really feel like getting off the beaten track then this is an ideal location.

The farm is run in a very traditional manner and the permanent pastures are grazed by Sussex cattle and Southdown sheep. There is an abundance of wildlife such as badgers, owls and butterflies. Come in May to enjoy the nightingales that sing out from Hoadley wood. Coopers Farm is managed under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme which means no artificial fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides are used. Well over a mile of native species hedges has been planted, old ponds drained and a coppicing programme re-introduced to some of the woodland.

The High Weald is a wonderful, ancient and largely unchanged landscape. Watch the old fashioned black Berkshire pigs at Coopers Farm stuffing themselves with acorns in the autumn and you could be transported back hundreds of years to the days of the pig droving in the sunken routeways. Stonegate is at the centre of a very important Roman settlement and the owner of Coopers Cottage is more than happy to tell you where to go to find out more - such as the Tunbridge Wells museum and Harry Cunningham's slightly more esoteric collection at King Johns Lodge tea rooms.

They have mapped out lots of great walks direct from the farm and informative and complimentary High Weald booklets, maps and guides are available in the cottage. Closer to home there are many old maps of the farm showing many typical High Weald features like hammer ponds, shaws and all the original field boundaries which you are welcome to study to become more familiar with this ancient and fascinating landscape.

Visitors are really encouraged to use local producers - there are many within a stone's throw of the cottage, for apple juice, cheese, preserves, eggs etc and to use the local shops in the nearest village - Wadhurst. There are also a number of interesting attractions and local eaterys within easy reach.

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