Heathfield Park SSSI

The core of Heathfield Park is a deep, ancient woodland valley or gill, which like many other gills in the Sussex Weald has a humid microclimate supporting uncommon plants and invertebrates. It has one of the most important assemblages of lichens, liverworts and mosses in Sussex and supports the nationally scarce plant Cornish moneywort. However, the twentieth-century spread of rhododendron has greatly impaired its value.

acta plotted the major trees, woodland types, significant plant colonies and extent of rhododendron. This work was the basis for detailed management prescriptions and a long-term strategy for maintaining the right density and species of trees. Implementation has required a rolling programme of enclosures to enable natural tree regeneration in the face of a large deer population.


Plotting ancient woodland indicators like wood anemone was a basis for defining the full extent of ancient woodland and ancient wood pasture


Cornish moneywort is a plant of shaded stream banks. Periodic clearance, exposing bare soil is necessary to maintain the colony


Typical mapping of the existing vegetation and management proposals