Tottington Woodlanders

We are a registered charity which manages an area of ancient woodland next to the village of Small Dole near Henfield in West Sussex.

Drying Out After A Wet Winter


Deer NettingAt last the long wet winter is over.  Despite many wet days in the wood this winter, who only had to cancel on one occasion due to the weather.  The miserable weather did not detract from our volunteer numbers, and in fact we managed to accrue more Person Work Days this year than last.  This year we totalled 233 adult days and 12 children. (Compared to 216 and 8 last year).

We cut coppice in three separate areas of the wood this season and managed to process a large amount of product.  Beanpoles and Pea Boughs are flying off the shelves; although there remain a few left.  If you want any contact us through the “Contact Us” page.  You do need to be able to collect them from the wood, and we cannot fill very large orders.  We have also managed to sell quite a lot of stakes and etherings to local hedge layers.  A number of people have also bought etherings to make runner bean arches.


With so much rain falling the ground became very muddy after Christmas.  For several weeks we were sliding around in mud over the uppers of our wellies!  Particular care is required under such conditions, and the work is generally slowed by the simple process of staying upright.  Notwithstanding these difficulties we still managed to undertake an amazing amount of work, and the ground flora appears to be recovering very well.  All of our usual ancient woodland indicator species are making a good appearance.  The primroses have been particularly splendid this year and the bluebells are set to produce a wonderful display.

Throughout the life of Tottington Woodlanders we have struggled with the problem of deer browsing the new coppice shoots.  This degrades the coppice regeneration and has an impact on the quality of the woodland products we sell.  Over the years we have tried a number of strategies to control the deer; largely unsuccessful.  The Roe Deer population appears to be growing and this only compounds the problem.  This year our benefactors, Hopegar Properties (Mackley’s) donated two roles of plastic deer netting.  This has now been installed around one of the cants we cut this year.  There was initially some concern that the netting would have a negative visual impact on the wood.  This is not the case.  The netting is almost invisible from a distance and even close up it is not obtrusive.  It will be interesting to see how successful this control method is.

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