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Our Woodland

Woodlands are incredible!

They are places for us to explore, see amazing biodiversity, discover new things and make new things.

Above all, they are a delight for the senses. From the mid-morning sun breaking through the canopy, to the smell of new flowers rising through the rested winter soil or the symphony of bird and bug song, woodlands can fuel the imagination.

Yet wander through the dappled light of the hangar woodlands or the otherworldly Kingley Vale and it’s easy to forget that to thrive, woodlands need to be managed.

The South Downs has more woodland than any other National Park in England or Wales, with the abundance of trees forming a vital component of the ecosystem and landscape. Light needs to reach plants and flowers on the forest floor to ensure they can in turn support the animals which rely on them for habitats and food.

Conserving this precious treescape is not without its challenges. Pests and diseases such as ash dieback and Dutch elm disease are growing concerns across the country and will likely change our landscape dramatically.

But, through active management and maintaining a good diversity of tree species, we can significantly improve the chances for our native trees and ensure future generations of people, plants and wildlife can enjoy healthy woodland.

Do you own or manage woodland within the South Downs National Park?

We are happy to provide free advice concerning woodland management that is tailored to your objectives for your wood. We can link you to local contractors and craftsmen and advise on potential markets for woodland produce. We can also put you in touch with experts from the Forestry Commission, Woodland Trust and Wildlife Trust.

Are you a local business that works with woodland or local wood products?

The South Downs National Park is compiling a database of local contractors, services and enterprises to share with woodland owners. If you would like to feature your business on this database and to find out more contact:

Bob Epsom at bob.epsom@southdowns.gov.uk

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