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Woodland projects


Chalk banks


Our Friends of Hollingbury and Burstead Woods group created a south-facing chalk bank at the top end of Hollingbury Park just below the golf club access road. The purpose of this bank is to encourage the growth of downland wildflowers which support some of the rarer downland butterflies and bees.


We planted seeds and wildflower plugs into artificially created piles of chalk, and were extremely pleased that by mid-summer the banks were a riot of gorgeous colours with red poppies, yellow corn marigolds, white ox-eye daisies and blue cornflowers

Hollingbury Woods - chalk banks





Our group planted a long hedge along the golf club access road. If you walk along the hedge from east to west, you'll see the difference between the oldest part, which is well established, and the newer sections near the recycling bins off Ditchling Road. We have also made a smaller hedge along the southern boundary of Hollingbury Woods in Hollingbury Rise West. This attracted good feedback from local residents who said they appreciate the work we do.


South Downs National Park


The boundaries of FHBW woods have not, we think, ever been formally defined.  However, in practice we have taken the road to the Golf Clubhouse as marking the northern limit of Hollingbury Woods, and we have not been active beyond the east-west path at the northern end of Burstead Woods.  In discussions with the Council and Hollingbury Golf Club, we now have authority to manage these two further areas. As each of these areas fall within the boundary of the South Downs National Park, we are delighted.


National Park Wood – Hollingbury Wood - Tree planting and new coppice


To the north of the golf club access road, we have defined a path, planted bluebells, cleared a glade, planted a number of native trees, and planted a hazel coppice. 





Butterfly Glade – Burstead Wood – Clearance and wildflower planting


A new circular path was built by this new glade at the north end of Burstead Wood. This glade is in an especially sunny part of the wood, and it should attract numerous butterflies. We’ve cleared some of the growth, leaving the nettles in place, and planted native wildflowers that are beneficial to butterflies.


Our flint barn – the end of an era!



The Friends of Hollingbury & Burstead Woods said a sad farewell to the flint barn we have used for almost 30 years as a tool store and meeting place at the beginning of each monthly work session.  After several years of uncertainty about our tenure, the Council sold the barn at auction in June, with the money raised helpinG to finance the relocation of the Parks and Ranger Service from its buildings in Stanmer Park.


The old barn was originally used as a stable to house the Parks & Gardens superintendent's donkey and cart until mechanisation made that use redundant.  Some older residents may remember when it was used as the changing rooms for the football teams that played on the challenging sloping pitches of Hollingbury Park in the 1970s. When the pitches went, the maintenance of the building ceased and the external steps to the original hay loft were removed in the early 1990s as they became too dangerous.


The Council gave permission for the Friends of Hollingbury and Burstead Woods to use the barn as a tool store to facilitate our restoration of the woods following the Great Storm of '87, and although the building was in a poor state of repair it has served us well over the years. The Council now provides us with a metal container tool store located at the southern entrance to Roedale Alltoments. 



FHBW Newsletter


The friends group produces a newsletter twice a year – spring and autumn. These newsletters are sent out electronically, with printed copies sent to members not on email. If you're a member and not receiving your newsletter, please let us know by emailing or speaking to a committee member at a work session.


Autumn 2019 Newsletter







Woodland Management Aims


A management plan for Hollingbury and Burstead Woods was created by FHBW in conjunction with Brighton and Hove City Council in early 2012. See details on the Council website.


The goals of the plan are 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


The key themes in the plan are:


·          Creating a butterfly glade and new path at the north end of Burstead Woods in the South Downs National Park

·         Increasing the woods slightly at the edges of Hollingbury Park to encourage more wildlife

·         Increasing wildlife habitat by felling a few larger trees due to the reduced amount of lying dead wood

·         Safeguarding and nurturing a few key large old trees as “Veterans”

·         Thinning young trees that have grown after the 1987 storm – to increase diversity

·         Deterring litter, dumping and dog fouling – and other anti-social behaviour







Page last updated: 21 April 2021

Friends of Hollingbury and Burstead Woods