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Councillors back restoration of ''lost'' Sussex woods

Councillors visit the Lost Woods project

Three Lewes district councillors are supporting a Woodland Trust-led project to bring life back to forgotten and fragmented woods in Sussex.

Councillor Adrian Ross, Chair of the Council, Councillor Matthew Bird, Cabinet member for Sustainability and Councillor Julie Carr, Cabinet member for Recycling, Waste and Open spaces, are backing the Lost Woods of the Low Weald and Downs project.

They were recently given a tour of wooded areas in the west of Lewes district by Woodland Trust experts who explained the project's aims to revitalise traditional woodland management and boost diversity across a 400 sq km area.

Councillor Adrian Ross said: "I was delighted to visit some of the sites that are being restored by this excellent project. It is terrific to see the investment and work taking place in the district and I look forward to visiting again in the future to see the progress that is made."

Councillor Julie Carr added: "Some small clumps of woodland do exist here and there but they are isolated and fragmented. If we do not act now, the woods will continue to shrink in size and could potentially be lost forever, leaving a significant impact on wildlife and people."

The Lost Woods of the Low Weald and Downs project plans to rescue these areas of ancient and fragmented woodland by improving their condition; transforming the landscape to provide a corridor to reconnect them; enhancing biodiversity and allowing wildlife to thrive; ensuring local woodland owners are trained in management skills; and creating a resilient landscape that can cope with the effects of climate change.

The scheme was awarded £349,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund earlier this year.

Councillor Bird added: "We are fully committed to tackling the climate emergency and support this project as part of that pledge. As a result of this great initiative we hope there will be more woodland that is in better condition and that these areas will be properly managed, making the overall landscape much more resilient to future change.

"The scheme will also teach landowners new management skills and improve people's access to woodland as well as bringing a wider understanding of the benefits of woodlands."

The Woodland Trust is working with landowners, community groups and schools to save these woods. To get involved please contact lostwoods@woodlandtrust.org.uk