Lost Woods of the Low Weald and Downs


This exciting partnership programme begun in July 2020, it will facilitate community action to bring to life forgotten areas of woodland in Sussex.

The project has received funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to develop plans over an initial 18 month period, with the hope of unlocking further funding to deliver a full and ambitious programme that will bring life back to these lost woods.

AirS involvement in the project is to work with villagers, volunteers and landowners to connect, inspire and educate. Supporting them to access and benefit from their local woodlands creating an enhanced woodland that benefits both the landscape and wider communities.

The Project Aims

  • Ensure more local people have access to woods.
  • Train local woodland managers in the traditional skills of coppicing, hedge laying and charcoal production.
  • Work with woodland owners to improve the condition of ancient woods with a focus on biodiversity.
  • Work with schools to get more children learning in a woodland environment.
  • Record all the ancient, veteran and notable trees in the area.
  • Write new management plans that include the care of old trees.
  • Create new woodland habitat through natural regeneration.

AirS is working in partnership with Small Woods Association, Sussex Wildlife Trust and Woodland Trust with additional support from Environment Agency & Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust

The project is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund


We have launched! Thanks to partners Action in rural Sussex Small Woods Sussex Wildlife Trust and The Woodland Trust and funder National Lottery Heritage Fund we will be working together to rescue forgotten woodland across Sussex.

Posted by Lost Woods of the Low Weald and Downs on Thursday, 23 July 2020



The project runs over an area of 400 square kilometres, from Pulborough in the West of Sussex to the fringes of Lewes in the East, and will put life back into neglected and forgotten woodlands. If you live or work in or near this area, and love the countryside, we’d like to work with you. Please drop us a line and we will get in touch.


Many woods here are in a sorry state. They are often small and fragmented and suffer from a range of issues such as infringement of development, under-management and the effects of climate change. Without intervention, there is a real risk these woods and their wildlife will be lost forever. The Lost Woods project will work with local communities and landowners to rescue these woods or bring these woods in to a better condition, boosting biodiversity, creating a more resilient network of trees and a haven for wildlife.

How nature can benefit my mental health

Spending time in the woods and natural areas can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing, for example

  • Improves mood
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves sleep
  • Helps to feel more relaxed
  • Improves physical health
  • Increases energy levels
  • Helps you make new connections

“For months during Coronavirus we had to stay safe, indoors. We know that local people love woodlands – but not everyone knows where they can visit, or what is allowed. AirS will work with local communities to get out and into woodlands. Added benefits are that this helps to reduce isolation, combat obesity, and improve mental health’. Steve Lewis, Manager of Lost Woods Project.

Get Involved

Get the latest news on the Lost Woods of the Low Weald and Downs by visiting our Facebook Page

Contact Us

Alexandra Goddard, Project Administrator, Alexandra.Goddard@ruralsussex.org.uk 07514 648057

Fran Corney, Lost Woods Village Agent, Fran.Corney@ruralsussex.org.uk 07514 646255

Jessie Rodriguez, Lost Woods Village Agent, Jessie.Rodriguez@ruralsussex.org.uk 07514 645244

Karen Laver, Lost Woods Village Agent, Karen.Laver@ruralsussex.org.uk 07854 249014

Steve Lewis, Community Based Services Lead, Steve.Lewis@ruralsussex.org.uk 07540 795277

“Supporting rural communities in Sussex to be vibrant and diverse places in which to live and work.”