BRINGING WOODLANDS TO LIFE

Small Woods joins launch of new Lost Woods project

Wilding Wood north of Lewes. Photo Ed Goodall, Woodland Trust.

Wilding Wood north of Lewes. Photo Ed Goodall, Woodland Trust.

Small Woods is one of four main partner organisations to launch Lost Woods of the Low Weald and Downs, an exciting new project that aims to bring back to life forgotten areas of woodland in Sussex. Together, they will work with landowners and local communities to bring back lost woodlands from the brink. The project has received over £340k in funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to develop plans over an initial 18 month period, with the hope of unlocking a five year project with multi-million pound delivery grant.

‘We are delighted to be a key delivery partner for this vital project.  Under the right type of management, small woodlands in the landscape can collectively deliver many benefits well in excess of their modest size. We are excited at the prospect of working alongside woodland owners and managers to develop a package of support that makes a real difference to the management of these often undervalued and overlooked woodlands’ said Graham Morgan, Woodland Management Advisory Officer for Small Woods Association.

Small Woods is the national organisation for woodland owners, workers and supporters. Our involvement in the project is to talk and listen to landowners and find out what they need to manage woodlands more sustainably, then from that we will develop a full training programme. Small Woods will also look at providing physical infrastructure such as a small mobile retort kiln.

Launched in July 2020 with support from players of the National Lottery, the project runs over an area of 400 square kilometres, from Pulborough in the West to the fringes of Lewes in the East, and will put life back into neglected and forgotten woodlands.

‘Many woods here are in a sorry state. They are often small and fragmented and suffer from a range of issues such as development, under-management and climate change. Without intervention, there is a real risk these woods will be lost forever’ said Ed Goodall, Lost Woods Project Manager, from Woodland Trust.

Lost Woods will work with landowners and local communities to rescue these woods, boosting biodiversity, creating a more resilient network of trees and a haven for wildlife in this forgotten part of Sussex.

‘Trees are a really important component of any ecosystem. They provide multiple benefits to people and wildlife, from flood protection to shelter and food sources for ecology, for improving water quality and adapting to climate change’ said Gareth Williams from the Environment Agency.

Events and activities across the project area will give the local community the opportunity to be involved in bringing local woodland back to life. Leading woodland and wildlife conservation organisations in the area are working together to make this happen.

The main project partners are Small Woods Association, Action in Rural Sussex, Sussex Wildlife Trust, and Woodland Trust, with additional support from the Environment Agency and Ouse and Adur River Trust.

For more information about Lost Woods of the Low Weald and Downs visit: Lost Woods Sussex on Facebook .

Lost Woods basic project area map

Lost Woods basic project area map

Lost Woods project partners: 

With additional support from:  

Small Woods Association 

Small Woods support woodland owners, workers and supporters to develop thriving, sustainable woodlands now and for future generations. Well over half the UK’s small woodlands are neglected, overlooked and under-valued. Managed and used well, small woodlands are vital to thriving local economies, wildlife, and the health and wellbeing of local communities, and are hugely valuable in the fight against climate change. Small Woods provide advice to members on sustainable woodland management, as well as woodland projects, training and events, social forestry activities and research. www.smallwoods.org.uk

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