Fire Destroys Parts of Ashdown Forest, the Woods That Inspired Winnie the Pooh

iStock.com/Nigel Burley
iStock.com/Nigel Burley

The real-life forest that inspired Winnie the Pooh's Hundred Acre Wood caught fire the night of Sunday, April 28, the BBC reports. Firefighters were able to contain the blaze at Ashdown Forest in Sussex, England, but not before it consumed up to 50 acres of woodland.

Ashdown Forest is perhaps best known as the former home of A.A. Milne. The Winnie the Pooh author lived there in the 1920s when he conceived his famous children's stories. He decided to base the home of Pooh, Piglet, and Eeyore on the woods, and the books' illustrator E.H. Shepard also drew inspiration from the setting.

On Sunday night, a fire started at the iconic forest and grew rapidly. It was fueled by undergrowth on the forest floor that was "dry as straw" despite recent rain, forest ranger Chriss Sutton told the BBC. As much as 50 acres of forest caught fire, and a valley area near the village of Duddleswell was completely destroyed.

Despite the devastating loss, forest rangers are feeling optimistic about the site's recovery. Animals and insects are expected to move into the area quickly, and in about six months, thriving plant life will have replaced much of the damage. And if visitors to Ashdown want to visit the memorial to Milne in the meantime, the part of the forest where it's located remains unharmed.

[h/t BBC]

The New York Times's Latest Book on Travel Will Help You Plan the Perfect Weekend Getaway

TASCHEN
TASCHEN

Getting a full sense of a new city while traveling can be tough—especially if you only have a weekend to explore it. But since 2002, The New York Times’s "36 Hours" column has been breaking down destinations all over the world into bite-size pieces, allowing travelers to see the big attractions while still experiencing the city like a local. Now, you can get the best of the column's North American destinations with the fully updated and revised edition of 36 Hours: USA & Canada for $40 at TASCHEN or on Amazon.

Even if you have the original, it’s worth purchasing this updated copy, as this version features 33 new itineraries from Anchorage, Alaska; the Berkshires in Massachusetts; Boulder, Colorado; Miami; Oakland, California; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and many more.

36 Hours: USA & Canda from the New York Times
TASCHEN

The 752-page book also offers more than 5400 hours of travel itineraries, 600 restaurants to dine at, and 450 hotel options. Each city featured includes a brief history, a list of popular destinations, and tips on how to experience it all like a local. For example, the New Orleans guide encourages travelers to start at the French 75 Bar for happy hour and order a Sazerac, a cocktail close to an Old-Fashioned that's a local favorite. Whereas the Miami guide takes you to the Buena Vista Deli, a bistro known for its take on classic French dishes. The travel book also features detailed city maps that pinpoint all the stops, and it's accompanied by nearly 1000 photographs.

Once you've picked your destination, check out some tips on how to craft the perfect itinerary.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Pandora Released a Harry Potter-Inspired Jewelry Collection

PRNewsfoto/PANDORA Jewelry
PRNewsfoto/PANDORA Jewelry

As if we didn’t have enough Harry Potter accessories, a new jewelry collection has dropped that seems worth a bunch of galleons. After collaborating with Disney for their Lion King, Aladdin, and other themed collections, Pandora took a train to Hogwarts to satisfy all the Potterheads who love bling.

The Harry Potter x Pandora collection features a total of 12 hand-finished products, including charms, pendants, and a bracelet—each piece inspired by the characters and symbols seen in the Harry Potter films. All four Hogwarts houses will be represented, so all fans will find something to love.

"Through our Harry Potter-inspired jewelry, Pandora and Harry Potter fans can express their love for magic, fantasy, bravery, and the power of friendship," Pandora's chief creative and brand officer Stephen Fairchild said in a press release. "Pandora fans have asked for this collection for years, and we are really excited that it is here."


PRNewsfoto/PANDORA Jewelry

Among the included pieces are a Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry charm, a Dobby the House Elf charm, and a Hogwarts Express charm as well as a Golden Snitch bangle (which is an updated version of Pandora's popular Moments bangle, this one featuring a Quidditch symbol at the clasp).

The Harry Potter x Pandora collection is now available in stores and online worldwide.

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