© MichaelHeffernan/ WTML

Woodland conservation groups

At the heart of the Lost Woods project is the aspiration to bring people together to protect our ancient woodlands for future generations.

If you’re in a woodland conservation or sustainability group in the Sussex Low Weald and Downs, get in touch. There’s a network of free support, training and contacts to help your membership grow and thrive – just like the woodlands you care for.

How is Lost Woods working with conservation groups?

Do you belong to a woodland conservation, wildlife or sustainability group? Or would you like to set one up? Would you like some support with your group goals? 

Reviving and reconnecting fragmented woodlands across the Low Weald is no small task. It’s only by coming together as one community that we can protect this ancient landscape for future generations.

So we’re supporting conservation groups in the Lost Woods project area to build on your strengths, reflect on your aspirations and needs, and find ways to make progress. We can also help you to access training, grow networks and recruit volunteers that will sustain your group long into the future.

© AirS

Training courses for conservation groups

Each year, you and your members are welcome to join our training courses and themed networking events for community groups.

These include:

  • basics in woodland management and conservation techniques
  • identifying flora and fauna
  • managing volunteers
  • woodland wellbeing activities and woodland crafts
  • engaging communities in woodland activities
  • first aid for outdoor activities

Most courses are free and all are designed in response to groups’ needs. There are also spaces available on courses we’re running for local landowners, woodland workers and apprentices.

Please see our main training pages and get in touch with ideas on the training topics you’d like to see covered.

‘The training blew our isolation apart’

Malcolm volunteers with the Tottington Woodlanders, and co-ran our Woodland Management training. He explains how it helped him feel part of a wider community of support:

‘I can’t express the benefits of the day enough. Many individuals and groups came together with shared but slightly varied experiences, which wouldn’t have been possible without the Lost Woods team. The networking on the day – which I suspect will continue in the future – was invaluable. The nature of the work most of us do is quite isolating, but the training blew that insulation apart. Hopefully it will enable us to develop a more integrated approach to woodland management. Now each of us has a pool of individuals who we can go to for advice, consultation and support.’

© BenLee/ WTML

Including volunteers from all communities

Many people in Sussex would like to visit or volunteer in woodlands, but don’t know where to start. Including volunteers with different needs (whether that’s people with physical or mental health challenges, or learning differences) can be rewarding for everyone involved.

If your group would like to offer opportunities to new volunteers, we can support you to collaborate with their group leaders. Together we can review how you run your conservation group, and make sure you’re set up to include all volunteers safely.

Meet your community development team

The team are here to support you and your members with the training, advice and experience you need.

Michael, senior community development worker

Over the past 15 years I’ve worked for a number of wildlife conservation organisations, leading events and helping thousands of people to understand and appreciate their county’s amazing wildlife heritage. I joined the Lost Woods project in 2023 and am looking forward to helping people to explore and enjoy their local woodlands.

Mark, community development worker

I’ve worked in education for the Soil Association and an international development charity that supports communities in rural Zambia. I’ve also worked on the Queen’s Green Canopy tree planting project, encouraging people to plant trees in East Sussex for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. Joining the Lost Woods Team in 2023, I’m looking forward to hearing from all the groups working towards thriving woodlands in the Low Weald.

Polly, Lost Woods community development worker

My background in community land stewardship grew out of my love for the natural world. I’ve been involved in several community projects that have enabled people to live more lightly on the land. I’m also an environmental activist, supporting campaigns from a local to a global scale, and have been a guest speaker on Climate Change Action at the South Downs National Park.

Ready to get started?

The community development team are keen to hear your ideas. Get in touch for more information or to arrange an informal chat.