Woodland archeology project scoops £50k

THE Woodland Trust has been successful in a £50,000 funding bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a community archaeology project at Brede High Woods, near Sedlescombe.

The charity plans to undertake a programme of small-scale excavations on some of the archaeological features in the wood as well as on one of the medieval farmsteads on the site.

The digs will be run by a professional archaeologist but be undertaken by volunteers.

Through the project the trust anticipates delivering 60 days of public activity on site over three summers, potentially involving up to 1,200 people.

The trust will also undertake restoration work along Brede High Lane, an historic sunken lane, with the aim of improving access and preventing further damage by falling trees.

Dave Bonsall, the site manager for the Woodland Trust, said: “Over the last three years we’ve found that the historical aspects of the woods have captured people’s imaginations.

“Thanks to the HLF’s funding we can really explore the history of Brede and more importantly, involve a huge number of people locally.”

Stuart McLeod, head of Heritage Lottery Fund South East England, said: “The project underlines the importance of encouraging people to take an interest in their local environment, discovering its history and helping to conserve it for future generations to enjoy.”

The funding will also create volunteering opportunities including finds analysis, archive research, conservation and public speaking roles.

The trust will deliver a programme of INSET training for teachers to encourage them to utilise the existing site-specific curriculum linked educational resources for educational purposes, both during the project and long after it finishes. Brede is one of the trust’s flagship sites, with the charity aiming to inspire more people into the woods across Sussex.

People can find their nearest wood by typing their postcode into the charity’s VisitWoods website, which contains information on thousands of publicly accessible woods.

Brede High Woods has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Forestry Commission, Natural England, The Tubney Charitable Trust and many generous local supporters and donors.

Find out more about events and activities at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/Brede