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Hollingbury Wood – Forget-Me-Nots

Next work session


Enjoying and caring for our local woodland


Our monthly weekend work sessions remain suspended until further notice due to the Covid-19 situation.


However, we are hoping that we can resume sessions soon, possibly in June and await guidance from our Council Ranger. Details will be posted on this web site, our Facebook page, and on our Twitter feed. FHBW Members will receive an email. 


The woods are a wonderful place for a walk, with signs of spring all around, so do get out and enjoy them if you are able.







Recent activities and news


Update on lockdown woodland activities


In between the ‘lockdowns’ a socially distanced group of six managed to plant the wild daffodil bulbs we had ordered and some members have been collecting litter on their walks through the woods, but with our volunteers not having been able to carry out any work for more than a year there are a lot of outstanding tasks to attend to. However, it is not only the pandemic that is causing us problems in getting back to our conservation work, but Ash Dieback disease.


Sad news – ash dieback



Burstead Wood - ash bud


In 2012 the spores of this fungal pathogen were found on Ash trees in the south-east and it has now spread to all counties of England.  It is thought that the disease arrived on imported nursey stock from Europe, but the spores could also have been blown across the channel. 


Unfortunately, some of the Ash trees in our woods have already succumbed and others are showing signs of the disease.  Our Ranger has inspected some of the areas where we were going to work and declared them off limits because of the proximity of suspect weakened trees.  As there is a high percentage of Ash in our woods we are seeking further clarification from the Council’s arboriculture team who we hope will carry out a survey and assess the situation.


Burstead Wood - ash flower


However, it does look almost certain that we will lose a large proportion of our Ash trees which will dramatically change the dynamic and look of the woods.


Getting back to working in the woods


As portions of the woods are now off limits, we are identifying areas where we can work safely, such as the chalk butterfly banks and the hedges, and work sessions in the near future will be in these areas.


When the full extent of the ash dieback disease is known, we’ll draw up plans and work with the Council to restore and improve our woodlands.


For those who don’t know or remember, our group was set up in response to the Great Storm of October 1987 which toppled the magnificent Beech trees leaving only a handful standing. Our group rose to the challenge and embarked on an extensive replanting programme, increased biodiversity by introducing more varieties of trees, created glades, and planted hedgerows and wildflowers. We’ve done it once and we can do it again.




Who are we?

Friends of Hollingbury and Burstead Woods are a group of local people who look after two areas of woodland off Ditchling Road near Hollingbury Golf Course. The aim of the group is for people to be able to enjoy the area, for wildlife to thrive, and to increase biodiversity.



What we do - We meet once a month to carry out practical work in the woods, ranging from tree and hedge planting to path maintenance and litter clearance. This work is carried out under the guidance of a Brighton and Hove Park Ranger and our group’s Project Officer. 

Work sessions – On the first weekend of the month, alternating between a Saturday and a Sunday, we run work sessions from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  Gloves and tools are provided and no special skills are required - just enthusiasm!  For tasks such as tree thinning and planting a new hedge, training is given.  The work is not too arduous and everyone works at their own pace. We stop mid morning for a break and a chat, with coffee, tea and biscuits provided. See the Activities page for dates and details.

How we work – We have a yearly woodland management plan with goals to:


·          Maintain the woodland

·         Support wildlife

·         Balance the woodland tree population

·         Conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the woodland

·         Encourage public awareness and enjoyment of the woods

·         Enable responsible public access to the woods

·         Deter litter, dumping and dog fouling




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Page last updated: 22 April 2021

Friends of Hollingbury and Burstead Woods