From: Amanda Peters [newmoonvirgin_at_yahoo_dot_co_dot_uk]
June 2007 11:38
Subject: Urgent Appeal -
Brede High Woods, Sussex
Brede High Woods is a large complex of ancient woodland
and heathland located in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Steeped in history, these magnificent woods lie just 5 miles north east of the
famous town of Battle in East Sussex.
These beautiful woods are
exceptionally diverse. A designated Site of Nature Conservation Interest, the
area comprises a remarkable mosaic of wildlife habitats ranging from ancient and
ghyll woodland to open heathland. The Woodland Trust has been offered the
opportunity to purchase 649 acres of these incredible woods, which would make
this our largest site in England.
Rich in wildlife
Important for biodiversity at both a regional and national level,
this site is home to an astounding variety of threatened and unusual species.
The numerous streams and ponds support creatures such as brook lampreys and
great-crested newts, whilst spotted flycatchers and hobbys hunt along the
The area’s exceptional conservation value is emphasised
by the presence of wild boar and even a leaf beetle previously thought to be
extinct in the UK!
A remarkable landscape
complex landscape are areas of heathland, one of the UK’s most precious
habitats. Today a high conservation priority, sadly much of this heath was once
planted with non-native conifers, which are currently suppressing rare floral
species as dodder, greater broomrape and heath dog violet. Through a gradual
approach we want to restore this irreplaceable habitat, strengthening
biodiversity and enabling this remarkable landscape to flourish.
Steeped in History
As far back as the Roman and Iron Age
periods, these woods have played an important role in iron working. The area was
at the centre of the medieval iron smelting industry, with Brede Furnace
operating in the 17th century immediately to the south of the present reservoir
Traces of this historic past can still be seen today. Hornbeam
and alder provided a vital source of charcoal, and many coppiced trees are still
prolific throughout the woods alongside distinctive saucer-shaped bell pits and
boundary banks. There is even a wonderful sunken lane that has been used by
people for centuries.
We urgently need your
This varied history has helped to shape the landscape into
the magnificent and rich complex we see today. However, sensitive management is
crucial to ensure each precious habitat reaches its full potential. We are
desperate to protect this extraordinary site, but we urgently need your help.
Purchasing land in this area is exceedingly difficult, and to secure such a
large quantity we must act now.
Through this appeal we need to raise
£750,000 in the next 12 weeks. If successful, this will be our largest site
in England but time is very much against us. If we fail to raise sufficient
funds, this irreplaceable woodland could go on the open market to be sold in
lots to the highest bidders.
Please help by sending a donation today.
Your rapid response is vital to our success and the funds raised though this
appeal will be used solely to acquire and protect this unique piece of woodland
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