The Sussex Lund grants programme, launched by Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing, supports small-scale, practical projects that improve the ecology and landscape of the High Weald. Charities, community groups, schools, churches, councils, farmers, landowners and indeed anyone with a good idea can apply for grants of between £500 and £10,000.
Sussex Community Foundation managed Sussex Lund on behalf of Lund Trust in 2016, working in close partnership with the High Weald AONB Partnership. In 2017, management of this fund passed to the High Weald AONB Partnership.
The AONB Unit will welcome applications from any organisation or individual for projects within the High Weald AONB which demonstrate tangible improvement to the landscape and have a public benefit. For more information on Sussex Lund, click here or call the High Weald AONB Partnership on 01424 723011.
The first awards from Sussex Lund were made in 2016. Here is a list of them.
Arun & Rother Rivers Trust
The grant is to restore and make river improvements at Fittleworth Mill, an ancient mill on the Rother, fed by numerous chalk and sandstone streams from the surrounding catchment. The work will enhance fish passage and so help slow failing local fish populations. It is a restoration and river improvement project that will yield clear ecological benefits, socio-economic advantages and maintenance of this historic landscape of cultural heritage.
Battle Town Council
The grant will fund a path project at Mansers Shaw, a. 2.3 hectares of ancient woodland consisting of mature trees. A stone footpath will be constructed between two existing stone path entry points. The new path will provide firm and safe access and stop further damage to the ground flora in the woodland.
This grant will help fund the purchase and installation of fencing to enable grazing of meadow and the protection of woodland.
Bluebell Railway Preservation Society
To fund the removal of non-native trees from a public area adjacent to Sheffield Park station which is used by members of the public for picnics and a children’s play area. The group plans to remove fourteen mature laurel trees, clear a bank of overgrowth/brambles, and plant natives, such as hawthorn and birch and restore the bank to a condition supporting wild flowers, such as primrose and violet.
This 18-month project will safeguard the future of the Silver-studded Blue butterfly within the High Weald AONB and deliver targeted restoration management and monitoring at sites in the landscape. The project will establish a long-term volunteer monitoring programme for the Silver-studded Blue.
Cranbrook and Sissinghurst Parish Council
The grant is to improve the Crane Valley Local Nature Reserve, a small 1.5 hectare nature haven with woodland, wet meadow, a stream and scrub, offering great habitat for wildlife and a beautiful green space for people to enjoy.
Five Ashes Memorial Hall and Playing Field Trust
The grant will fund a sensory garden on a poorly maintained area of land owned by the trustees of the village hall in Five Ashes. This will provide an opportunity to engage young people from the village school and toddler group in environmental studies, as well as providing an area for others to enjoy and relax.
This grant will help fund the improvement of farmland by planting and laying hedges and installing stock fencing to improve wildlife habitat.
Forest Row Parish Council
This grant will support the restoration of the tree bank to its original ornamental state for public enjoyment and the historic water spring to its original state with a ‘feature’ outlet, but enclosed with railings to prevent damage and the addition of public noticeboards to commemorate the original tree planting and also the historic origins of the spring.
This will restore the bank and spring to their intended state as a site for public enjoyment, incorporating as a central feature an ancient water source.
Hadlow Down Volunteers
This grant will allow volunteers to clear a 200 metre long footpath that connects Waghorns Lane to the village hall. They will also reinstate the drainage ditch that runs along one side, install several sandbag walls and sow wild flower grass seed on the verges.
Hastings Borough Council
The grant will help to recreate areas of heather on the Firehills, restoring the landscape to a heathland mosaic of shrubs, including heather and gorse interspersed with acid grassland. A mixed-species hedge on an ancient boundary bank by the heathland will be replanted, to act as a wildlife corridor and a wind break. The species-richness of grassland fields will be enhanced to create flower-rich meadows which will improve biodiversity and benefit a wide range of wildlife, in particular pollinating insects.
Homestall Hedges Project
The grant will fund the installation of hedging around a small holding and pony paddock.
This grant will fund the removal of non-native trees in woodland, using horses.
Kent High Weald Partnership
The grant will fund a project at Cinderhill Community Woodland near Mayfield in Kent, to move 200m of the northerly fence so that the grazed area can be increased by approximately 0.5 hectares. This will create an area of wooded heath and provide a shaded area for livestock.
Kent High Weald Partnership
This grant will help to fund the reinstitution of the Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk. This comprises a 27.5 mile circular walk through the spectacular High Weald AONB landscape around Royal Tunbridge Wells that incorporates four shorter walks radiating from the town.
Kent Wildlife Trust
The grant is to fund the restoration of grassland at Cowden Pond Nature Reserve, including coppicing and fencing.
The grant will fund the creation of a wildflower meadow by installing fencing to enable grazing.
Leconfield Fly Fishing Club
The grant will fund the creation of gravel riffle features in the Western Rother where siltation is a major issue. Artificial gravel riffles have been successfully used on the Western Rother, as part of wider management practices to help restore the river to its original form, encouraging natural processes and therefore a more diverse range of habitats to re-establish themselves.
Little Gate Farm
The grant will help fund a project to make and sell charcoal from the Farm’s 9.4 hectare of ancient semi-natural woodland to benefit the ecology and landscape and importantly, the learning disabled adults who work in the woodland. Jobs will be created, and woodland skills and knowledge increased.
The grant will fund the planting of hedgerows, trees and wildflowers on a smallholding.
Lower Crowbourne Meadow
The grant will fund the turning of a fallow field into wildflower meadow.
Mayfield and Five Ashes Parish Council
This project will improve the appearance of the Mayfield and Five Ashes conservation area, including Mayfield High Street, Fletching Street, the areas of land surrounding the car parks, Memorial Hall and the communal recreation ground. It will encourage the community to take pride in the local environment.
Netherfield Hedges project
The grant will fund installation of hedging around a smallholding.
Powdermill Trust for Nature Conservation
This grant will fund fencing to enable sensitive grazing by Dexter cattle at the Trust’s Rotherfield Nature Reserve, which is enjoyed by many local visitors. Grazing the grass would be the ideal and a much more ecologically sound management method than previously used.
Red Barn Working Group / Sedlescombe Parish Council
This is a volunteer-led project to improve the village field, replace the benches and table and encourage people to come and enjoy a visit. The field is used by the villagers who walk to the village hall, the church and to the pre-school.
Rotherfield Millennium Green
The grant will fund the enhancement of the wildflowers within one field of the Green by increasing the number and diversity of species. Access between the two fields will also be improved by the replacement of an existing wooden kissing gate with a self-closing metal gate.
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
The grant will fund the fencing of a paddock at Broadwater Warren nature reserve to enable grazing and also improve heathland habitat.
Stonegate Church of England Primary School
This grant will fund a significant ‘re-greening’ of the school playing field with a new orchard, wildflower meadow, hedging and living willow domes.
The grant will help to establish and improve a new nature reserve at Stonelynk Valley including coppicing, hedgerows, orchard and footpath improvements.
Sussex Wildlife Trust
Eridge Rocks is a site of special scientific interest because of the majestic sandstone rocks which are 135 million years old and are home to a community of rare plants. The grant will fund the clearance of bramble and bramble and the re-coppicing of five-year-old sweet chestnut to maintain open, sunny areas to benefit flowers and insects.
Ticehurst Parish Council
This grant will improve the land around the pond close to the centre of Stonegate, through hedge-laying coppicing and improving the path and steps. It will encourage locals to visit the pond and enjoy the setting.
Wadhurst Parish Council
The project will help to improve the dark sky of Wadhurst, focusing on the priority areas as identified by the Wadhust and District’s Astronomical Society’s Dark Sky Survey with the effect of minimising the effect of light pollution and reducing night time lighting on wildlife and people in Wadhurst.
This grant will fund the restoration of a wildlife meadow and seeding an adjacent meadow.
Winchelsea National Trust
The grant will fund a project to transform a neglected area of former pasture into a wild flower meadow for all to enjoy. The site, in the heart of the town of Battle, is a gateway to the High Weald AONB and is accessed by a large number of local people daily.
Yew Tree Lakes Meadow
The grant will fund fencing and hedging to enable grazing of meadows.