Varied ancient wood pasture with ponds, streams, meadows and reclaimed arable land under conversion back to woodland
Ebernoe Common is a superb example of a Low Weald woodland with a history of traditional use. For centuries it was wood pasture, where commoners would turn out their cattle or pigs to graze and browse on young trees and scrub, beech mast and acorns, or on the grassy meadows in clearings.
The Sussex Wildlife Trust purchased 75 hectares of the reserve in 1980 when much of the woodland was under threat of destruction. At that time many of the glades and rides had become overgrown with rank grasses and bracken, but repeated mowing and raking by volunteers has seen the return of a rich and varied flora: devil’s-bit scabious, adder’s-tongue fern and many orchids.