Woods Mill

Woods Mill is a mixture of wetland and woodland habitats. It is currently the headquarters of the Sussex Wildlife Trust. Please note that dogs (except assistance dogs) are not allowed at Woods Mill nature reserve at any time.

Woods Mill is the headquarters of Sussex Wildlife Trust and an environmental education centre. Woods Mill is a prime example of what the wider countryside once contained. Visitors can walk past the old ponds and lake, through the ancient woodland, alongside the streams and waterways into the unimproved meadows with their wild hedgerows – habitats all contained within its 47 acres. This variety of habitat attracts an impressive number of species including mammals, insects, amphibians and birds.

Woods Mill Nature Reserve is open throughout the year, with a car park, bike racks and toilets. There is no charge but donations are welcome. 

NB The public toilets in Woods Mill car park are closed on Friday 31st May 2024 for the whole day. We apologise for any inconvenience

The Horsebox Cafe is currently closed.

Sorry no dogs (except assistance dogs).

Woods Mill Scrapes

Winter 2023, Woods Mill nature reserve embarked on a transformative project, creating shallow scrapes. These distinctive shapes provide habitat for wildlife and cleverly retain water post-rain.

We’ve already seen Green Sandpipers exploring the edges, and expect summer guests like Turtle Doves and House Martins using the scrapes to drink or collect nesting material.

Over time, witness the transformation from tidy edges into lush, untamed landscapes with tussocky structures, providing a haven for dragonfly nymphs to flourish and take their first flights.

Grid ref:
Reserve size:
19 hectares

In this section

Reserve profile

Pop-up cafe


What you might see

Getting around



The Turtle Dove

The Turtle Dove

Hear the sweet song of summer. The Turtle Dove, a charming migratory bird, found in Sussex each summer. This delicate dove is a symbol of love and devotion, celebrated in literature and song. Find out how to spot this elusive bird and help protect its vital habitat.

Butterfly watching in January?

Butterfly watching in January?

Butterflies in January? Well, you can find the eggs! Bob Foreman goes looking for Brown Hairstreak eggs at Woods Mill

Meet the staff: Steve Tillman

Meet the staff: Steve Tillman

We talk to Steve Tillman, of the Wilder Horsham District project, who has been working for Sussex Wildlife Trust for 25 years.