Gillham Wood

Gillham Wood is a nature reserve, managed by Sussex Wildlife Trust, which provides a valuable community asset for informal recreation and dog walking. The easiest access is from Withyham Road which runs along the southern boundary. There is a bus-stop and a small lay-by for parking. The reserve is quite flat, and there are no gates or stiles. Dogs are welcome, but please keep them under close control and clean up after your dog.

commemorative stone

The wood was bequeathed to the Sussex Wildlife Trust by Mrs Dorothy Constance in 1973 to be conserved in perpetuity as a nature reserve.

The wood is mainly oak with an understorey of hazel, birch and holly and ground flora includes wood anemone, bluebells and bramble. An old bomb crater is now a pond which provides water for a variety of wildlife

Herb Robert
Herb Robert

The woodland is divided in two by the main ride which provides open sunny conditions perfect for butterflies. The main part of the wood has a network of paths so everyone can enjoy the wood, and the eastern side is kept as a sanctuary for wildlife with no disturbance from humans. The woodland is an oasis for birds many of which nest here every year.

The nature reserve is managed by Sussex Wildlife Trust in conjunction with Rother District Council and the Friends of Gillham Wood – a group of locals that help look after the day to day management of the woods.

Sussex Wildlife Trust may be contacted via their website at

What you might see

In the spring listen out for the hooting of a tawny owl, or the distinctive song of the nuthatch. Within the woodland keep any eye out for the distinctive butcher’s broom, also known as knee holly, or guelder rose in the autumn with its distinctive red berries.
There is a pond and temporary stream within the wood, the pond is favoured by common frogs who return every year to breed, so look out for the tadpoles.
Along the main ride and sunny entrances look out for butterflies such as orange-tip or speckled wood or even the longhorn beetle Rutpela maculata

View Larger Map (Bexhill-OSM)

Location: Withyham Road TN39 3BA or Gillham Wood Road TN39 3BN.
Bus stop: "Gillham Wood" by entrance on Withyam Road.
Grid Ref: TQ717069
Area: 3.25 ha (8 acres)