The Lynchmere Society

The Lynchmere Society launched a successful appeal in 1997 and 125 hectares (307 acres) of Lynchmere, Stanley and Marley Commons were purchased spring 1998 with wide local contribution from individuals and organisations and a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund on the condition that the commons were to be restored to lowland heath. If the Society had not purchased the commons it is likely that they would have been bought for commercial forestry and would by now have been replanted with fast growing non-native species.

When we acquired the commons it had become largely overgrown by scrub birch, scots pine and dense bracken. Just one or two isolated areas of heather clung on in clearings, largely through the care of local residents.

Although the scrub woodland is attractive in its own right, open lowland heathland is a unique habitat, and in northern Europe the bulk of this has disappeared over the last century.


Maintaining the commons and returning it to this managed landscape is a challenge mostly met by volunteers who carry out a programme of tree and scrub clearance, bracken control and general renovation activities. View our volunteer work calendar via the Volunteer Blog (see above).


In addition the commons are also grazed by traditional Sussex Cattle, which help with control of bracken and bramble.


Not all of our work is of a destructive nature – we have laid a hedge, planted and continue to maintain hazel coppice (a now quite scarce habitat), have established a community orchard and manage several wildflower hay meadows. We are also actively working on preserving the 200-year-old Mare Barn, which will probably be our next major fundraising project.


©2009 - 2014 The Lynchmere Society

Registered Charity no. 1103123