© James Ratchford/ WTML

Support for managing your woodland

If you own, lease or look after a small woodland in Sussex, you may be eligible for free advice and support to restore it. We’re working with communities and landowners across the Low Weald and Downs to turn its lost woods into loved woods. With your help we can revive our ancient woodlands, so they can support a range of wildlife, native plants and flowers.

Find out how we can help you protect the woodland in your care – and connect with the support you need.

Support available to revive and protect your woodland

Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Lost Woods offers the help you need to care for your woodland. We can provide support to:

  • Survey ancient woodlands and assess any threats to their future, which may include invasive species, pests, development, or changes in climate conditions. The more we understand the individual woodlands in the Low Weald, the more we can help protect them and boost their biodiversity.
  • Create woodland management plans specific to your woodland, to improve its condition and attract a range of wildlife. We can also help you to put those plans into action.
  • Develop your skills, including training in traditional skills such as coppicing, hedge laying and charcoal production.
  • Grow woodland buffers, expand and connect woods through natural regeneration and planting, making them more resilient to outside threats.
  • Plan income-generation activities that are sustainable for the woodland.
  • Care for ancient and veteran trees, and grow their next generation.

Bluebells in Costells Wood, Scaynes Hill. © AIRS

© James Ratchford/ WTML

Connecting you with a community of support

Caring for your woodland can be a lot to manage alone. Everyone in our communities can benefit from a connection to our local woods, and many people would like to play a part in helping you to care for them.

  • The support you need – we want to know how we can help you the most - whether providing training and skills workshops, supporting you to find volunteer help, or directing you to funding opportunities.
  • Other local owners – you know best what works for you and what you’d recommend to others. We’d like to help bring local landowners together to share tips, expertise and experiences so we can keep learning together how to provide the best care for our woodlands.
  • Nearby woodlands – bringing lot- and land-owners together to physically join up areas of woodland that have become fragmented. This will transform the landscape and create green corridors for wildlife to thrive in through more cohesive management.
  • Your local community – sharing these wonderful spaces can bring huge benefits to local people, both as individuals and through building community spirit. The more that people understand and value the woods, the more they will be aware of their impact on them and be able to help care for them.

Which areas and landowners are eligible for Lost Woods support?

If you own a small area of ancient woodland (less than 5 hectares) or have old trees on your land in the project area, we can work with you to restore your woods and protect ancient and veteran trees.

Next steps – sign up or find out more

To find out more about joining the Lost Woods project, get in touch.

Once we’ve discussed eligibility, we’ll arrange a free site visit to get to know your woodland and advise on next steps.

Ancient tree in Sullington ©BobEpsom/ WTML

Woodland management training

We have a range of subsidised training courses on sustainable woodland management and heritage skills.