#LoveLocal a collection of stuff we enjoy around the local area. From places to visit with the kids, romantic restaurants to keep the spark to local businesses we love to support.
Woods Mill is a beautiful oasis nestled on the other side of the South Downs just outside Henfield. It’s a Nature Reserve run by Sussex Wildlife Trust and completely free to visit. We only discovered it a couple of years ago but it has since become a firm weekend staple to get out and enjoy some nature.
What is there to do?
The reserve is made up of woodland around a sizeable lake with smaller ponds and even a small stream. There are meadows for picnics, walks and insect catching. During the summer months, there are regular pond dipping sessions with the staff at hand to help identify some of the huge variety of pond creatures. Activity times on summer days are usually 10.30am – 11.30am & 2pm – 3pm but check the website to be sure.
If you’ve got a little bit of patience (2 minutes of not being noisy max), find the bird hide in the woods and watch the fantastic variety of birds come to visit the feeders. The best time for this is Spring, as the feeders are not topped up during the summer and Spring is busy for the birds building their nests and raising their young. We even saw a woodpecker at the feeders once!
In the woods, we often go on bug hunts and we always come back with a respectable stick collection. Tell me a boy who doesn’t love a stick!
Come Mid-April you will also find a carpet of beautiful bluebells in the woods with all the trees showing off their new leaves. A lovely time of the year!
Nature Tots & Wildlife Watch
I should also mention the fantastic program run by volunteers of Sussex Wildlife Trust: Nature Tots runs weekly for about six weeks at a time for little explorers between 3-5 years to take part in some fun activities in the woods and grasslands of the reserve. For older nature lovers between 5 – 8 years there is also Wildlife Watch. Both are great at getting outside, getting muddy, learning about nature and how to protect wildlife in a fun forest school type environment. Find out more here.
How do I get there?
Follow the A27 eastbound towards Shoreham, take the left exit on the Shoreham Bypass bridge to go north towards Steyning & Henfield A283. Then follow signs to Henfield/Woodsmill.
There is parking on site but this may get busy on weekdays during term time when there are school visits and other courses going on. There should be plenty of space at weekends.
Toilets are also found in the car park. Access to the offices and toilets is suitable for people with disabilities. Dogs are not allowed, unfortunately.
So, with Spring seemingly making an appearance, why not head out for some much-needed nature time this weekend?
Enjoyed this post? Please subscribe to our email list to get these posts straight to your inbox!
Been there yourself? Let us know! Comment below.