Titnore Wood extends east of Titnore Lane in the north-west of Worthing
|Location||West Sussex, England|
|Dominant tree species||Oak, ash, silver birch, field maple, hazel and common hawthorn|
|Fauna||Mole, shrew, dormouse, bank vole, woodmouse, grey squirrel, weasel, fox|
Titnore Wood is an area of ancient woodland to the north-west of Worthing in West Sussex. With neighbouring Goring Wood it forms one of the last remaining blocks of ancient woodland on the West Sussex coastal plain.
Since 2006 land in and around the wood has been the site of a proposed major urban extension to the Worthing suburb of West Durrington. The proposed development has prompted environmental protestors to tree-sit within the wood since May 2006. Since then Worthing Borough Council has agreed to a substantial new housing development just to the east of the woods themselves, as an extension of Durrington. This includes a new school, doctors surgery and around 2000 new houses on agricultural land. Though the ancient woodland itself would not be destroyed because of this, the large increase in people will inevitably lead to the degradation of the forest due to fly-tipping and other unsavoury activities, such as drug use, which is in much evidence in the pockets of woodland remaining in Durrington itself.
Titnore wood lies to the north-west of Worthing, a large town on the coast of West Sussex. The wood was formerly part of the Castle Goring estate, a grade I listed country house built at the end of the 18th century for Sir Bysshe Shelley, grandfather of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Titnore wood lies to the east of Titnore Lane, an ancient droveway from the coastal plain onto the South Downs. To the south of the wood lies a lake, known as Titnore Lake or Castle Goring Lake. The lake is fed by streams from surrounding farmland which in turn feeds the Ferring Rife which flows into the English Channel at Ferring.
In 2003 a new greenfield development was put forward for 875 homes by the West Durrington Consortium, a group made of Heron Corporation, Bryant Homes (part of Taylor Woodrow) and Persimmon Homes. The proposal required the loss of around 275 trees including some from the proposal to straighten Titnore Lane to improve the flow of traffic. In May 2006 a group of around 25 environmentalist protesters moved into the wood, constructing tree houses and a network of tunnels. In July 2006, the landowner was granted a possession order from the High Court to remove the protesters. In March 2010 councillors at Worthing Borough Council voted unanimously to reject the development plans.
Flora and fauna
Oak and ash are the predominant species in the wood. There are frequent silver birch, field maple, hazel and common hawthorn. Mammals include mole, shrew, dormouse, bank vole, woodmouse, grey squirrel, weasel, fox, as well as various bat species. Species of bat which can be found in the wood including the pipistrelle bat, serotine bat, Natterer's bat, noctule bat and long-eared bat. Species of bird found include Eurasian jay, common pheasant, common chaffinch, carrion crow, wood pigeon, robin, chiffchaff, wren, magpie, dunnock, great spotted woodpecker, lesser spotted woodpecker, tree creeper, tawny owl, common kestrel, great tit, long-tailed tit, blackbird, nuthatch and whitethroat.
- "Woodland homes plan is rejected". BBC Sussex website. BBC. 16 March 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2010.
- "West Durrington Design and Access Statement with Design Codes" (PDF). West Durrington Consortium. July 2008. p. 28. Retrieved 22 March 2010.
- "West Durrington plans updated". Worthing Borough Council. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 22 March 2010.
- "Flooding: Will It Be Your Turn Next?". Protect Our Woodland. 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- "West Durrington Design and Access Statement with Design Codes" (PDF). West Durrington Consortium. July 2008. p. 5. Retrieved 22 March 2010.
- "Tree-top eco-warriors must leave". BBC News. 27 July 2006. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
- "West Sussex Ancient Homes Plan Rejected". The Argus newspaper. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- "Plans for homes next to Worthing's Titnore Woods voted down". BBC News. 16 March 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- "Appendix 3 - species list - part of the text from a study commissioned by the Worthing Society into the area that will be effected (sic) by the development". Protect Our Woodland (originally from a study commissioned by the Worthing Society). 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2010.