The Iford Estate has always had a strong environmental focus. Areas that are managed intensively are balanced with less productive areas that are focused on the environment.
The Estate has two Sites of Special Scientific Interest, the Lewes Brooks SSSI and the Iford Hill SSSI. Both are managed to maximise their environmental benefits. The Lewes Brooks SSSI is an area of important wetland, situated to the south of Lewes, with ditches hosting a wide range of flora and fauna, as well as a significant population of rare and interesting birds. Water levels are controlled to provide flooded areas in the winter to attract overwintering waders, while in the summer certain areas are stocked at lower levels to give patches for those birds to nest in. The Iford Hill SSSI is recognised particularly for its flora, and is one of the few sites where Round Headed Rampion flourishes.
In addition to the more recognised environmental areas, we also manage miles of hedges and ditches, along with field margins and corners to provide habitats for all manner of creatures, both large and small, mammals and birds. Surveys by the RSPB have confirmed the presence of many endangered species of birds, details of which can be found here.
A large wildlife pond on the Lewes Brooks, designed by the RSPB and created in 1987, provides a habitat for a number of breeding birds, and the hide is available by appointment to members of the Sussex Ornithological Society.
There are two successful Pheasant and Partridge shoots on the Estate. The crops grown to support the game birds also provide a source of food for birds over the winter, as well as helping to prevent soil erosion.