Wilder Woodland workshops

Everyone’s talking about making spaces wilder for nature. Could lighter-touch approaches help revive our Lost Woods too? And how do you know which ones are best for your woodland?

From Spring 2025, you can join us on a free Wilder Woodland workshop to explore these questions. You’ll step out with fresh ideas, new connections, and a different perspective on how to look after your woodland with wildlife in mind.

What are Wilder Woodlands?

Wilder Woodlands is all about shifting how we view our relationship with our woodlands, and their potential for people and wildlife. We explore how landowners can manage their woodlands in wilder ways, and create wilder habitat networks across large landscapes.

This approach helps woodland owners get clarity on which management approaches are necessary. Once you understand the natural processes your woodland is missing, you can mimic them through management or non-intervention.

From veteranisation of young trees (speeding up their ageing into better habitats) and copying beaver’s leaky dams, to keeping pigs in woodlands – all ideas are up for discussion.

© SamRoberts / SussexWildlifeTrust

©SussexWildlifeTrust/Wilder Horsham District

How Wilder Woodland workshops can help

By managing woodlands with minimal intervention, together we can create more abundant, joined up and natural wildlife in woodlands.

We’re connecting humans too. The workshops will create stronger networks of small woodland owners like you, and link you to professionals who can give support and advice.

As a woodland owner, we hope you’ll feel less weighed down by unnecessary management burdens. Our aim is to build your confidence to know which is the best approach in your woodland – and how to deliver it.

Who are these workshops for?

We’ve designed these workshops to help landowners, woodland workers and voluntary conservation groups looking to expand their knowledge.

The approach is best suited to these types of woodland:

  • not managed for forestry
  • owned and managed mainly to support wildlife
  • silvopasture (a type of agroforestry where livestock graze among trees)
  • transitioning away from forestry (plantations on ancient woodland sites, or PAWS)

All workshops in the series are free to attend. They’re open to people living and working in the Lost Woods project area, which stretches across Sussex from Storrington in the West to the fringes of Lewes in the East.

Upcoming courses (from spring 2025)

Wilder Woodlands and Functional Forestry

A 2-hour indoor workshop, hosting inspiring talks from professionals and inspiring discussions with your network.

Join us to discuss existing forestry approaches in woodland, and how they can be made wilder. Ideas might include continuous cover forestry, species recovery (such as beavers) and silvopasture.

Register your interestRegister your interest

Wilder Woodland Management

A day-long workshop on rewilding in the context of woodlands. A morning speaker session indoors is followed by an afternoon outdoors discussing woodland management and wilder woodland ideas.

We’ll cover:

  • scales of rewilding and purposes of rewilding
  • how to mimic wilder and more natural woodland processes
  • climate resilience
  • which natural features of your woodland to leave or encourage
  • identifying the most important natural resources in your woodland
Register your interestRegister your interest

Products and Markets for Wilder Woodland Produce

This 2-hour online course looks at the natural products your woodland could yield – such as rowan jelly or birch sap – and how sales might help secure its future.

We’re busy developing our full programme of course dates and locations. For now, please get in touch to find out more or join a waiting list.

Register your interestRegister your interest

We’re busy developing our full programme of course dates and locations. For now, please get in touch to find out more or join a waiting list.

Meet your Wilder Woodlands workshop leader, Fran

I can’t wait to hear about the woodland you look after, and how we can support you to make it wilder!

For over 20 years I’ve been advising landowners across Sussex, and leading inspirational, landscape-scale projects. I’ll be bringing my experience in wilding, restoring nature recovery networks, natural flood management, species recovery and more.