Improvement work to ancient woodland

The Woodland Trust carries out coppicing work at Brede High Woods.
The Woodland Trust carries out coppicing work at Brede High Woods.

THE Woodland Trust has been putting more than £20,000 of funding to good use by improving some of East Sussex’s most important woodlands, including two in Rother.

The UK’s leading woodland charity is currently using the funding, awarded by SITA Trust, to carry out improvements to make the sites richer for wildlife.

The funding was awarded to the Trust earlier this year to carry out a variety of specialist woodland management works to increase biodiversity in the 34.7 hectares in four different woodlands and make them richer and more wildlife-friendly.

“So far, the grant has allowed the Trust to carry out coppicing and ride-widening work in Guestling Wood and Brede High Woods, as well as work in woodlands near Uckfield and Tunbridge Wells.

This project has been supported with £20,342 through SITA Trust’s Enriching Nature programme.

SITA Trust provides funding to biodiversity conservation projects through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Claire Kerr, Woodland Trust south east regional manager, said the work will help woodland become more resilient against threats.

Ms Kerr said: “Protecting the woods in the south east is vital – we have a large proportion of England’s remaining ancient woodland but the threats from development, pollution, invasive species, tree disease, and climate change are huge.

“The work we’re doing with the funding from SITA Trust is already making a difference, helping to make this landscape richer and more resilient against threats.

“The funding has already helped us make a lot of improvements and there’s plenty more to come.”

Coppicing trees and ride-widening will help increase the number of plant and insect species by allowing more light to reach the forest floor, encouraging a rich ground flora and associated wildlife such as the nightingale, spotted flycatcher and silver-washed fritillary butterfly.

With SITA Trust’s support, the Woodland Trust will be able to keep a piece of the region’s natural heritage intact, protect local wildlife and enable visitors to enjoy beautiful woodland all year round.