HEARTBREAKING images show how the iconic bridge from the Winnie-the-Pooh books has been “closed indefinitely” after being demolished by a fallen tree.
The photos show the destruction at Poohsticks Bridge in Ashdown Forest, East Sussex which provides the setting for the beloved children’s novels..
Following a spell of bad weather over the weekend, the bridge was hit by a tree and officially declared closed yesterday [MON].
The images show how an uprooted tree has crashed into the wooden structure, rendering it unsafe for use.
The wooden railing has been ripped from the side of the bridge and the tree can be seen lying across the river.
The previously picturesque bridge is visited by thousands of tourists each year after it was made famous in A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh.
Ashdown Forest provided the inspiration for the Hundred Acre Wood where Pooh and friends live, often playing the popular game “Poohsticks” on the bridge.
The devastating images were shared by a local cafe and Winnie-the-Pooh themed shop, Pooh Corner, on Facebook.
The post was captioned: “We are devastated to be saying that Pooh Bridge is now closed indefinitely as a tree beside the bridge has collapsed in the recent weather.
“East Sussex County Council and the landowner have closed the footpath and will be getting to work removing the tree and fixing the bridge, so we thank them and please ask everybody to keep away until we can announce it has reopened.”
The images have left social media users heartbroken,
Lauren Blake commented: “So sad! I’m thankful I was able to visit Pooh Stick Bridge last November when I came from the US. Hope it gets repaired soon.”
Nicole Marie added: “This is absolutely heartbreaking. My fiance proposed to me on Pooh Bridge Wednesday just gone, and I feel so lucky for this to have happened. Praying Pooh Bridge is fixed soon.”
Reima Casey posted: “Sorry to hear this news thankfully the council and owner are getting it sorted.”
And Tia Barham said: “So sad at the loss of this magnificent tree and the damage to the bridge.
“Grew up around here and have lived a two minute walk from the bridge for ten years.
“Played countless games of pooh sticks as a kid and now with my kids. The bridge will live on. Here is my favourite photo with that lovely tree in it.”
Tia also uploaded a picture of the bridge and the now fallen tree which she took in February 2018 which shows the bridge and tree under a blanket of snow.
A spokesperson for East Sussex Council today [ TUE] said: “Our countryside rangers have been on site and are working with the landowner to clear the tree from the bridge before they can make the bridge safe.”
The iconic bridge was made famous by author A. A. Milne after he invented the game Poohsticks at the bridge.
This game would later become a favourite of Milnes most famous creations, Winnie-the-Pooh, who resides in Ashdown Forest, the home of the bridge.
Poohsticks involves dropping sticks from a bridge into a downstream river, the person whose stick comes out the other end of the bridge first is the winner.
The bridge has undergone substantial repairs in recent years due to the number of visitors it receives.
The bridge has even drawn the patronage of Disney who provided funding for works in the 19990s.
Speaking today, owner of Pooh Corner, Neil Reed said: “The damage to the bridge is obviously very sad but due to the love for the Pooh and his friends I am sure it won’t be long before we are open to the public again!
“Having been down with the land owners and East Sussex County Council this morning I can confirm that they are working hard towards making sure people can enjoy their games of Pooh Sticks in 2021.”