Woodland is defined as native broad-leaved woodland where at least 80% of the canopy is made up of native species.

Woodland at Flatropers Wood

Photo: Laurie Jackson

Why is it important?

  • Woodlands are often species rich and many uncommon species can be found, particularly where a diverse habitat structure is present.
  • Many of Sussex’s woodlands are ancient, with some gill woodland thought to date from the last Ice Age.
  • Several of our woodlands have a warm and moist “Atlantic climate” in which rare ferns, mosses and liverworts thrive.

Woodland in Sussex

Sussex is one of the most wooded counties and the Weald has the greatest cover of woodland in Britain. A range of woodland types are present in the county, including some nationally uncommon types.

What are the threats?

  • Development resulting in woodland loss and fragmentation.
  • Inappropriate management.
  • Excessive deer browsing results in changes to species composition and simplification of woodland structure.
  • Climate change could put certain woodland types such as Beech woodland at risk.

Some associated species

  • Hazel Dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius
  • Woodlark Scolopax rusticola
  • Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria euphrosyne
  • Black-headed Cardinal Beetle Pyrochroa coccinea
  • Beech Fagus sylvatica
  • Wood Anemone Anemone nemorosa

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Photo: Paul Marten/Sussex Wildlife Trust

Advice on woodland

After Minerals
Forestry Commission
Natural England
The Woodland Trust

Sussex Targets

Biodiversity Action Reporting System Website

Download the Woodland Habitat Action Plan