Wilder Horsham District


The Horsham District has a high quality and valued landscape. The southern part of the District is within the South Downs National Park and the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers the north eastern area. It also has numerous sites that are protected because of their value to wildlife. This ranges from international sites such as the Arun Valley Ramsar site with a significant diversity of species, through to Sites of Special Scientific Interest like St Leonard’s Forest and numerous locally important areas, such as Woods Mill, in Small Dole and Chesworth Farm, near Horsham.

The wider countryside also contains a wide variety of habitats that support numerous different species. The map shows the protected and important habitats found in the Horsham District.

One of the main challenges is that habitats (whether they are protected or not) are becoming increasingly fragmented and isolated from each other. This does not allow species to move around, making wildlife less resilient to change; such as changes in land management or the climate.

Jonathan Chowen, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture at Horsham commented:

We see Wilder Horsham District as an opportunity to demonstrate how a District Council and a Wildlife Trust can work collaboratively to progress the wildlife agenda at a meaningful district level.

Together we can demonstrate how a Nature Recovery Network can be delivered with local people, communities and organisations all playing their roles. We want to see wildlife thrive throughout the district for residents and for all residents and visitors to enjoy the benefits.

Tor Lawrence, Chief Executive of the Sussex Wildlife Trust commented:

The Council recognises that the natural world is under increasing threat. Wildlife that was once familiar in the Horsham District is now rare.

This new partnership with the Sussex Wildlife Trust aims to reverse this decline. It builds on the strong relationship that the Council already has with the Trust, to make a real change in how we use our natural heritage and our environment.

Both organisations want to work with local landowners, community groups and organisations to enhance the District’s natural world, so that species and habitats thrive to benefit everyone that lives and works in the area.