MP visits National Trust tree-planting project at Slindon

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert visited the National Trust's tree-planting project on the Slindon Estate near Fontwell on Friday (30 January).

150203 Slindon tree planting.jpg


The MP was shown the ‘Rise of Northwood’ project by the National Trust's ranger Hannah Woodhouse.  They were accompanied by Mike Imms from the Slindon Forge community shop and cafe and Jon Edgar, a local sculptor who has been commissioned to create the marker stone for the land at Northwood. 

Large areas of the estate’s woodland were cleared to support the Allies' need for timber during the two world wars and the focus on food production.  The National Trust has been given the opportunity to return 185 acres of the Slindon Estate back to its pre-First World War wooded landscape thanks to a substantial bequest from Mr John Springthorpe-Hunt.  The 10-year project will involve the planting of 13,000 native trees and restoration of the landscape.

Volunteers have been invited to help plant the project and Mr Herbert planted a tree during his visit.  The first community tree planting day took place in November, with further events planned throughout this year.   During the first two volunteer days more than 100 people helped to plant over 3,000 trees.

Mr Herbert also met Fittleworth-based sculptor Jon Edgar who has been commissioned by the National Trust to create a marker stone for Northwood.   The Slindon sculpture is being formed from a 2.5 tonne block of Portland stone and the MP was invited to try his hand at chiselling.

The stone will be moved to different locations on the Estate during the year and turned onto a different face at each one.  It started its journey outside the Slindon Forge in November and is currently located at Northwood.  Visitors will have the chance to use Jon’s tools to help shape the stone before it is transformed into the final piece.  

Nick Herbert said: “I hugely enjoyed my visit to the Slindon estate and seeing this fine landscape on the Downs.  This is a very interesting woodland restoration project and I was pleased to see it and to learn about the sculpture that will accompany it."

The next public event takes place on Wednesday 18 February, during the school half term.  See for more details.





1.    Photograph 2: Left to Right –Hannah Woodhouse, National Trust ranger, Nick Herbert MP, Mike Imms, Slindon Forge.

2.    For more information about the Northwood project see

3.    For more information about Slindon Forge and local events see

‘Wild about the Woods’ Wednesday 18th February 10am – 3pm.  This half term get out and about and close to nature on the Slindon Estate.  Fun activities include tree planting, den building, stone sculpting and more.  Free family event including refreshments and a BBQ lunch.  For bookings and more details get in contact with the National Trust by calling 01243 814730 or emailing 


Michelle TaylorSlindon