“Whitelands is a sunlight-capturing factory that consumes about 30 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. It is run for wildlife and is financed by ecological consultancy, plus timber sales, education and training. The timber is used in a huge variety of projects, mostly construction of interesting and eco-friendly buildings. Firewood is also produced. It needs interest, recruits and customers to help drive the perpetuating woodland.”
– Jonathan West, Principal and Founder
The Whitelands Project is now a social enterprise. We aim to restore both the native woodland ecosystem and the local community’s connection with it.
Planted up as a red cedar plantation in 1957, the woodland came under the management of Jonathan West in 2002. Jonathan established the Whitelands Project, aiming to restore the area to its native woodland state, while supplying a small saw mill with sustainable timber and providing a venue for ecological education. The Project provides a platform for small businesses and local tradesmen to sustainably utilise Whitelands’ ecosystem services. The original 30 acres of woodland was increased with the addition of a 10 acre arable field, now planted with a variety of tree species.
Situated in South Downs National Park, on Butser Hill, the woodland is a designated SSSI and PAWS site. We work with educational and conservation organisations to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship between people and wildlife. From nearby primary schools to universities, inspired members of the public to local councils, Natural England, Forestry Commission and Butterfly Conservation, we value our wide network of interested people all working for conservation.