The Woodland Project

The Woodland Project in East Sussex offers days out in nature for families who have a child with a severe physical or learning disability, families who have a child experiencing mental health issues and 11-18 year olds who are accessing mental health services. The Woodland Project allows these families to spend quality time together, relax in their natural surroundings, free of distractions and judgement.

Run by Circle of Life Rediscovery and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, the project is funded solely through donations and external funding. So far over 150 families have benefitted from The Woodland Project.

  A participant on our Teenage Programme, 2018.

In 2017 The Woodland Project won a grant from ITV's The Peoples Projects!

The project was one of five projects in the Meridian East region shortlisted by The Peoples Projects to be in the running to win a grant of up to £50,000 and it was announced on Thursday 6th April that The Woodland Project had been successful in winning the funds!

A HUGE thank you to all who have supported us and voted.

With much support we have compiled our Woodland Project Report written in collaboration with the late Dr Martin Jordan. Please download the report here.

You can also listen to our BBC Sussex radio interview about the Project here.

Feedback from parents and families and external professionals indicates these woodland days are hugely powerful and dramatically benefit around 98% of participants. 


  • ITV's People's Project Winner 2017
  • 2015 Sussex Partnership Positive Practice Awards
  • Highly Commended in the National Innovation in Child, Adolescent and Young People’s Mental Health Award
  • Environmental Achievement Award at the SPARK Awards 2016


Photos from our Family Woodland Days can be seen here.

Photos from our 31st March Celebration Day can be seen here.

Visit our Blog to read more about this project.

The Peoples Projects Funded by Sussex Community Foundation


Feedback from parents:

“I can’t express enough how much relaxing, healing and peace there has been for me today.”

"We had a brilliant day and felt very relaxed. The children loved the woods and the quiet life and thoroughly enjoyed on how to make camp fires and cook on a camp fire. This environment is really perfect and safe for children, who love the outdoors and learning new things. The staff were brilliant and made us feel very welcome and very supportive. Would love to come back again as the day was great and the kids were kept busy from beginning to end.”

"The trees have been drinking away my stresses!."

This project is one of the most valuable things we have. I don’t think of it as therapy when I am here, it feels like a family day.  It is difficult to find things we can do with my daughter. Here there are understanding people, who are able to keep her occupied which enables us to have a family day out. Often we are protecting her or others. Here it is relaxing, it’s not about protection and this is really, really rare.

“We have never used a service for the whole family before. We don’t get out much, I think this is the longest my son has spent outside in living memory. This is phenomenally good. He is safe and the girls are happily occupied, we haven’t had that kind of freedom before, today has given us a different perspective that it is possible.” 

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