© MichaelHeffernan/ WTML

Things to do in the Lost Woods

Woodlands are great places to walk and exercise, but they’re also natural play areas, places to relax, to meet friends and to explore.

Here are some ideas on how to get more from your woodland walks. You can also download our guide on things to do in the Lost Woods here.

Spot wildlife –
become a citizen scientist

Do you want to learn more about the habitats that woodlands support? Spotting wildlife and plants in the woods and recording sightings can help scientists make the case for the better protection of our natural world.

And you don’t need any specialist knowledge or skills! Find out more about the apps and national surveys you can take part in on our Citizen Science page.

©JohnBridges/ WTML

Go for family adventures

Whether you hunt for bugs, go for a picnic or spot colourful plants and mushrooms, there’s plenty for families to do in the woods. Woodlands are our original play areas after all! Children can have a great time spotting nature too.  

Get them involved in the citizen science surveys or download seasonal nature spotter sheets like these from our project partner the Woodland Trust.

© RobertRead/ WTML  

Learn about our local heritage in Sussex

History is all around us, and this includes in our Lost Woods. There are some fascinating places across Sussex where you’ll make some historical sightings among the trees.

Chanctonbury Ring is a prehistoric hill fort, thought to date from the Iron Age, with a small woodland nearby. It sits on the South Downs Way, so it’s easily accessible. Local legend says that you can summon the devil on a midsummer’s night from the fort, by running around the ring backwards six times…

For more myth and mystery, try Woods Mill Nature Reserve in Henfield, looked after by our project partner the Sussex Wildlife Trust. While the habitats in the reserve are flourishing with wildlife, you may also spot ancient stones and the statue of the green knight slumbering in the undergrowth.

Practise mindfulness – go forest bathing

Research shows that woodlands and nature boost our immune systems. They can help you find peace in a busy world too.

Never tried forest bathing before? No problem. Our project partner, the Woodland Trust, has these handy tips.

Visit a woodland and find a tree or space that you connect with. Stand, sit, lay down, or lean against a tree.

When comfortable, focus on the moment: 

  • Notice the sun, breeze, and air temperature.
  • Listen for sounds: the babble of water, creak of trees, the wind in the leaves, and the song of birds.
  • Look for shapes, movement, colour, light and shade.
  • Feel the roughness of bark, the smoothness of a pebble.
  • Imagine roots growing from your feet into the ground, anchor yourself to the earth.
  • Take as much time as you need, and feel renewed.

© MichaelHeffernan/ WTML  

Chanctonbury Ring ©BobEpsom/ WTML