This reserve is part of Vert Wood and adjoins our Park Corner Heath reserve. Though mostly covered with conifers at present, it is being converted to broadleaf coppice, open woodland, heathland and bracken - habitats that are best for woodland butterflies.
The Rowland Wood reserve was purchased in 2010 to extend the small Park Corner Heath reserve which had become the only known Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary site in the South East England. More habitat was urgently needed to strengthen their population and to encourage dispersal back into other areas.
This is being achieved by creating sunny, flower-rich habitats through widening rides and replacing conifer plantation with broadleaf coppice, open heathland, grassland and bracken areas. By spring 2011, the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary was already breeding in the new habitat.
The reserve was purchased thanks to a legacy from Miss P Lewis (dedicated to the memory of her parents Dudley and Lisette, who inspired her love of nature) and generous donations from BC supporters.
Size: 31 hectares (77 acres)
The reserve lies about 2km south-east of East Hoathly in East Sussex
Sustrans cycle route National Cycle Route 21 passes through Horam 6km to east.
By train: The nearest station is Uckfield about 4.5 km away. To walk from there, use an OS map and follow the lanes to East Hoathly. Take great care along the section of A22 into Vert Wood, as there isn’t a pavement and the verge is uneven.
By bus: East Hoathly: Eastbourne Buses Service No 54 from Eastbourne to East Grinstead. Please check local travel websites for up to date information.
By road: Turn off the west side of the A22 between East Hoathly and Golden Cross at ‘The Thatched Garage’ into Park Lane. After about 150m, turn right onto a small paved, private road and park in the small road side bays at the first bend - but please do not obstruct any gates. The Rowland Wood reserve entrance gate is on the right.
From the other gate, follow the track westwards alongside the ancient beech and hornbeam hedgebank which supports the public footpath, to reach the Park Corner Heath reserve.
Most ticks are little more than an irritation, but a few can transmit Lyme disease, a rare and potentially serious illness which is treatable with antibiotics if diagnosed early. It is therefore important to be informed and take some simple precautions.