Friends gather to remember James Adler

MORE than 100 friends of former Ashdown Forest chief executive James Adler attended a celebration of his life on Sunday afternoon.

It was held at Friends Clump on the Crowborough Road at Nutley, part of the iconic Ashdown Forest.

This spot also marked the end of a four-day 79 mile walk by a group of friends, who had set off from Climping Beach in West Sussex last Thursday.

James, who began his role in January 2021, died as a result of vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome in May last year at the age of 42.

Friend Beth Morgan, Vice Chair of The Ashdown Forest Foundation, spoke at the service and paid tribute to James.

She said: "James loved connecting with other people, and it has been an absolute privilege to have been part of the team organising James' Walk. I am in awe of the walkers who completed 127.85km.

"It has been a tough walk, both physically and emotionally."

Ash Walmsley is the Ashdown Forest's Countryside Manager, or 'James' right hand man', as he was refereed to at the gathering.

He said: "James was an incredible man and what he achieved was incredible. he definitely left his mark. 

"It was his calmness and clarity of vision, plus a stubbornness to be right, which were amazing. 

"He was so professional, bringing communities together, and we have such fond memories."

There was also singing, readings, and the chance to take the microphone and share memories of this wonderful man.

A fund has been set up to raise money in James' memory, and more than £4000 has already been raised.

Go to The Ashdown Forest Foundation is fundraising for The Ashdown Forest Foundation (

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