Grants worth £72,000 were awarded to 30 projects.
Horsmonden Farmers' Markets
Project description: To set up and manage a new fortnightly farmers market in Horsmonden on alternate Fridays from 9am to 12noon. It will consist of approx. 15 local stallholders from a 30 mile radius of the village, which will increase the range of fresh local produce available to local residents.
Photography & Produce Pilot Project
Project description: Action in Rural Sussex will support local producers in the High Weald that wish to sell their products at farmers markets and village shops. This project will produce marketing material, e.g. weatherproof boards and posters which feature the producer, product and show the links with the local landscape.
Coppice Worker Training
Project description: Trainingline UK Ltd will provide tailored training for coppice workers, both newcomers to the trade and experience coppice workers that lack formal training qualifications. This will be a two stage-process with Stage 1 aimed at achieving compliance with Health & Safety regulations for woodland workers. Stage 2 will specifically train them in coppice harvesting.
Advice to Landowners
Project description: FWAG will target landowners below 50 acres for conservation advice. FWAG will carry out 16 farm visits advising landowners on the importance of the High Weald landscape, best farm practice, habitat management and species conservation. Following the visit a letter discussing the main points and technical information will be sent to landowners.
Carbon Footprint Project
Project description: To engage students from 2 secondary schools and 4 primary schools in the subject of Carbon Footprints. The project will involve speakers talking on a range of topics, e.g. climate change, resource use and reducing our carbon footprint in the first terms. A school trip will be organised for each school to visit the sustainable centre at Shorne Wood. Pupils at the secondary schools will be encouraged to design cross year assemblies to deliver to the 4 primary schools on the High Weald Heroes programme. Lastly, schools will use ICT to research and calculate their own schools carbon footprints.
Little Scotney Farm, Organic Conversion of Hop Gardens
Project description: The project will rejuvenate 2 redundant hop gardens totalling 6.5ha at Little Scotney Farm and convert them to organic hop growing. Little Scotney is one of the few remaining hop gardens with the associated infrastructure of oast houses that can demonstrate a working landscape. Converting to organic hop production will add value to the product, e.g. local beer production, which in turn will help to retain this distinctive High Weald landscape feature.
Restoration of a Medieval Hedgerow
Project description: This project will restore a 100m section of medieval ditch and bank hedgerow. The first stage will remove large stems, followed by laying the hedge. The old ditch will be re-dug and the spoil used to reinstate the bank. Gaps in the existing hedge will be planted with hornbeam or hazel.
High Weald Heroes: Digital Media Resources
Project description: To develop a set of high quality digital educational resources, which will be delivered to young people via the High Weald AONB website and on a DVD for use in primary schools throughout the AONB. Five stories have already been filmed, where local actors in costume talk about how the High Weald landscape as it appeared in their time period and highlight the features that can still be identified today. This project will produce an introductory narrative to the stories and produce the DVD entitled 'My High Weald' for distribution.
Wood Fuel Development Project
Project description: This project will involve SE Wood Fuels Ltd training 30 local foresters and other potential wood suppliers in the production of quality wood fuel. Training will cover measuring moisture content, moisture content and energy value, contaminants, chipping, boiler technology, EU standards, hopper design and delivery logistics.
High Weald Heroes - Schools Award
Project description: This project organised by the High Weald Landscape Trust will introduce a new annual competition for schools situated within the High Weald AONB. The school award scheme will encourage schools to actively engage with issues of sustainability and conservation of the High Weald landscape.
Hoth Wood - Plantations on Ancient Woodland restoration project
Project description: Hoth Wood is an ancient woodland site and forms part of a complex of woods around Rotherfield. The project will involve BTCV, the owners' own taskforce and contractors felling 3 areas of conifers and replanting broadleaved native woodland.
Ashdown Forest Sustainable Marketing Strategy & Action Plan
Project description: This project will produce a 3 year sustainable marketing strategy and annual action plan for partners to promote and manage visitors to Ashdown Forest, the largest area of lowland heath in the South East.
Quarry Wood Plantations on Ancient Woodland Restoration Project
Project description: This project will restore an ancient woodland site by felling conifers and cherry laurel in a woodland gill, which is a distinctive feature of the High Weald AONB. The owner will restore the cleared area to native broadleaved aiding biodiversity.
Strawberry Wood Culvert
Project description: This is a large stone culvert made by hand from local stone with an abandoned ancient stone road running over the top. This makes it a remarkable landscape feature, designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Unfortunately, it is starting to collapse and is in need of research and advice on its restoration.
Crane Valley Community Day
Project description: This project will involve the local community of Cranbrook in a fun and informative day at this local nature reserve. Activities include: mini beast safaris, willow weaving, coppicing and pollarding.
The Living Classroom
Project description: A large project being implemented by Plumpton College. Two components of this project are rainwater harvesting and a pipeline feeder from the wood burner, both of which are supported by the High Weald Sustainable Development Fund.
Project description: Signs will be installed in woods owned by the Bellhurst Nature Conservation Trust, which permit open access on foot for informal recreation. The welcome signs will be made from local timber and give the Trust's name, contact details and a brief welcoming statement for visitors.
Centrepiece Art Work for High Weald Exhibition
Project description: The project will part fund a local artist to create artwork using natural materials for Tunbridge Wells Museum as part of their major exhibition on the High Weald's landscape heritage.
The RAMSAK (Ring of Agricultural Machinery in Sussex and Kent) Grazing Project
Project description: This project will undertake visits, talks and provide advice to landowners in the High Weald and link them with suitable graziers. The project will also provide training for a livestock apprentice enabling them to provide livestock checks for landowners.
Wood Processing Machinery
Project description: This project will support the productive management of High Weald woods for people and wildlife. By contributing towards machinery that will produce locally sourced timber products, e.g. fence posts and logs.
Church Wood: PAWS Restoration Project
Project description: This project will restore an ancient woodland site by felling conifers and restore light to the woodland. This is essential for many woodland plants, e.g. bluebells. The owner will restore the cleared area to native broadleaved aiding biodiversity.
Project description:This project will give horse owners an introduction to the important landscape features of the High Weald AONB and what action they can take to conserve them, e.g. retaining hedgerows, managing pastures and guidance on grant funding.
Landscape Enhancement Grants
Project description: The SDF grant will contribute to a wider grant pot to provide funding for actions that restore the distinctive landscape features of the High Weald AONB.
Plantsmans' Paradise: Great Gardens of the Sussex Weald
Project description: This project will form a partnership between 5 Wealden gardens (Borde Hill, High Beeches, Nymans, Leonardslee and Wakehurst Place) to promote their common evolution and links with the High Weald AONB as a sustainable tourism product.
Bringing the classroom outside
Project description: This project has enabled children at Brenchley & Matfield School to buy gardening equipment that will help the school develop and maintain their outside spaces for use as an educational resource.
Ashdown Forest Visitor Surveys and Interpretation
Project description: This project will help the Conservators of Ashdown Forest to record visitor numbers at Broadstone car park. It will also part fund the installation of audio-visual equipment for use at the visitor centre; improving peoples' understanding of the history and management of Ashdown Forest.
Hausonfire: portable wood chipper
Project description: This will enable High Weald woods to be managed, by converting some of the wood into woodchip for use mulching gardens or as a fuel in woodburners.