High Weald

bluebell woodWith increasing pressure on space and resources 'Taking Root' is a thought-provoking event that will explore, celebrate and take stock of what the High Weald's ancient woodlands give us.

On the evening of Thursday 26 March The Bell, Ticehurst will be the forum for four speakers to discuss the High Weald's woodlands from social, economic, health and ecological perspectives whilst guests enjoy a hearty two-course meal made from locally-sourced ingredients. The artwork of Tim Pryke (a renowned  landscape artist) will line the walls of the venue which will be the  inn's carriage room - the pit where the carriages were drawn into now filled with a large table.

At the end of the evening there will be an opportunity to delve further into the ideas raised, with a Q&A discussion between the audience and all four speakers together.

High Weald Woodland Officer Matt Pitts will host the evening. Speakers will be:

- Ecologist Dr Patrick Roper who has appeared on the BBC's Springwatch, Countryfile and The One Show. Dr Roper recently wrote a book on Brede High Woods and will discuss the ecological importance of the ancient woodland of the High Weald.

- Tom Wells who is currently working on an inter-continental woodland garden at the Chelsea Physic Garden. Mr Wells will discuss the cross-cultural uses of woodland in healthcare and the health benefits that High Weald woodlands in particular can offer.

- Nick Gibbs is the Editor of the British Woodworking and Living Woods magazines, as well as Publishing Director for Freshwood Publishing. Mr Gibbs will combine professional and personal experiences to highlight the social importance and potential of our woodlands.

- Interior designer and furniture builder Jeremy Pitts will discuss harnessing the marketable potential of the resources and traditions local to the High Weald. Mr Pitts will focus on how we can make preserving our woodland complementary to a modern, capitalist economy.

The event is has been organised by the High Weald AONB Partnership working with The Bell, Ticehurst which is renowned for hosting debates and talks aswell as other events.   

Taking Root will run from 7 until 10pm, with food being served at 7.30. Tickets cost £17 each. Spaces are limited and  should be booked in advance through The Bell, Ticehurst by calling 01580 200234.

The Bell's website
Our interview with artist Tim Pryke
Our video of the story behind the High Weald's wooded landscape
Woodland nature reserves you can visit in the High Weald