Ancient woodland is a nationally important and threatened habitat.
A revision of the Ancient Woodland Inventory for Mid Sussex was completed in October 2006 by a partnership between Mid Sussex, Natural England, the High Weald AONB Unit and the Forestry Commission. The survey updated the existing ancient woodland inventory and included woodland under 2 Hectares which the previous survey did not.
Mid Sussex is one of the most heavily wooded landscapes in the country, with nearly two-thirds of its woodland currently classified as ancient. Many of these woodlands are small belts of trees or small woods less than 2 Hectares in area. In a heavily-wooded District such as Mid Sussex, the omission of so many small sites in the past was an important issue for the conservation and protection of the area's ancient woodland.
The revised survey found an additional 607 ancient woodlands not previously identified, adding some 1600 Hectares to the total of ancient woodlands known to exist in Mid Sussex.
The survey will increase understanding of woodland ecology and enables future conservation initiatives and resources to be strategically targeted. It will also help to inform planning decisions relating to wooded areas and can be used for education and raising awareness among communities and the public.