The South Downs National Park has a rich and diverse mix of woodland types; this includes some of the largest yew woodlands in the UK, steep valley sides cloaked in hanger woodlands, large oak and beech woodland complexes and traditional coppice woodland. In all 23 percent of the total park area is covered by woodland, half of this is designated as ancient semi-natural woodland (woodland that has been there continuously for over 400 years). Woodland forms a fundamental part of the character of the South Downs National Park and contributes to the wider national park environment in terms of landscape, biodiversity, recreation, well being, and economic development.
Many small woodlands in the National Park are currently under-managed, which limits the light reaching plants and flowers on the forest floor affecting their growth and the animals which rely on them for habitats and food. By actively managing woods we can help to protect the woods and forests that make the South Downs National Park so special – by managing the woodlands their value in ecological terms as well as economically can increase. It is said that “ a woodland that pays is a woodland that stays”!