Woodland Enterprise Centre

About the Centre

Woodland Enterprise Centre, Flimwell, East Sussex

The Woodland Enterprise Centre in Flimwell, East Sussex is both WoodNet's base and an innovative (and award-winning) demonstration of what can be achieved with sustainable local resources.

The Centre is not generally open to the public, we host events and courses, and the facilities are available for hire. The building includes office space for several wood-related organisations including the High Weald AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and the base for Plumpton College at Flimwell, Centre for Sustainable Food Farming and Forestry. It is located in 20 hectares of mixed broadleaved / conifer and coppice woodland.


Hiring Rooms

The hall and training/meeting room at Woodland Enterprise Centre are available for hire.

If you would like to hire the hall or the training room at the Woodland Enterprise Centre, please contact Claire Gammon at Plumpton College Centre for Sustainable Food, Farming and Forestry:
Tel: 01580 879547

Email: info@foodfarmingforestry.co.uk


The hall is 12m x 12m and can be used for seminars, workshops and training courses, as well as inside /outside events taking advantage of the surrounding 20 hectares of woodland.

Training Room

The Training Room is suitable for meetings for up to 10 people.  A data projector can be set up, and interactive white board.

WEC Hall

Offices and Workshops

Timber Workshops at WEC, Flimwell

Workspace may be available at the Woodland Enterprise Centre on long or short-term lettings, depending on requirements.   The WEC office suites are fitted out to a high standard, with full security and CAT5 network wiring.

The WEC building has communal meeting areas, including a large hall for seminars, workshops and training days.

A cluster of Workshop / Offices have been developed on the site. These comprise 90m2 units, some of which have been increased by mezzanines, or joined to form larger units.  The frames are constructed from locally-sourced FSC-certified Douglas fir, and use sheep's wool and wood fibre natural insulation.

Currently occupied by a rural businesses (General B1 Use), and by Plumpton College for their woodland training activities, space may become available to rent. Additional units may also be constructed for a suitable long-term rural business tenants wishing to join the cluster.

Please see entry below for Office Space to rent in main Woodland Enterprise Building
Please contact us for further information.



Chestnut Gridshell at WEC, Flimwell

Arising out of an architectural competition, the first of the buildings at the Woodland Enterprise Centre was completed in 2003 and demonstrates the use of locally-sourced wood in contemporary timber design.

The winning team, led by architects Feilden Clegg Bradley, used atelier one engineers and InWood Developments Ltd, to research the use of small-section timbers, rather than heavy beams, to support the structure.

Built from both softwood and hardwood timber harvested in the south-east, including a structural gridshell from locally-grown chestnut coppice, the WEC building demonstrates how timber can be used to create elegant and low-impact developments, which contribute to the local rural economy, and maintains our environment by stimulating new markets to support the restoration of the many neglected woodlands in southern England.

The Woodland Enterprise Centre has expanded to include a group of timber workshops and is now a showcase of sustainable construction, placed carefully within the mixed woodland in the High Weald of Sussex. 

As well as the extensive use of engineered timber and modified wood products, the developments at WEC have used many low embodied energy materials, natural insulation materials (Warmcell, sheep's wool and wood fibre).  By demonstrating the use of locally-sourced timber species, such as Sweet Chestnut, Scots Pine, Douglas fir and European Larch, the WEC has demonstrated how development can be very low environmental impact, and also make a positive contribution to woodland management in the region.

Sustainable construction using local timber puts value back into the neglected coppices and plantations of south-east England, and provides a commercial incentive for more sustainable forest management.

The buildings are heated by an automated wood-fuelled boiler system, and all the developments have been designed to be low-energy consuming, and recyclable at the end of its life.

Further timber developments are planned for this site, and partners are sought for developing this WEC timberbuild "cluster" at Flimwell.



Chestnut coppice

The innovative feature of this gridshell design is the use of small dimension sweet chestnut timber, which is naturally durable, and very strong, especially when grown quickly from coppice woodlands.  By selecting short lengths of defect-free timber, and then re-joining them using modern glues and manufacturing processes, the timber laths can be assembled as structural building components for interior joinery or exterior use, including untreated rain-screen cladding.

The new timber workshops at Flimwell also use finger-jointed Douglas fir for the cruck frame and roof / wall cladding panels.


Automated wood-heating system at WEC, Flimwell

Arimax wood chip / pellet boiler at WEC, Flimwell

The Woodland Enterprise Centre is heated using woody biomass (wood chip) burnt in an automated 45kW Arimax boiler.

This Finnish system is housed outside the WEC building in a packaged container, integrating fuel store and boiler room, some 30m away from the building and connected by an underground heat-pipe.

35,000 kWh of heating is provided from small-diameter roundwood sourced from the on-site woodland managment operations (coppicing and thinnings) and chipped at the Centre, or supplied by contractors from nearly estates.


Office Space in a peaceful woodland environment

Woodland Office Space to rent

Office Space Woodland Enterprise Centre Flimwell

Plumpton College at Flimwell, located in a wonderful wooded environment spacious office, situated in the prestigious Woodland Enterprise Centre award winning building.

·         Fast broadband and wifi

·         Use of separate training room and award winning Woodland Enterprise Centre venue (at extra charge)

·         Ample parking

·         Kitchen

·         Separate ladies and gents toilets

·         Spacious and attractive entrance hall to receive visitors

Rent:  £400 /month for a minimum of a 6 month rental period .There is also a charge for ;- insurance, common use areas, heating, water, sewage, security and maintenance based on a pro rata floor area basis (8.3% of bills). Telecomms are paid direct to supplier and metered electricity is charged back to the tenant as charged by the supplier.

For more details and to arrange a visit please telephone Geoff Gregory on 01273 892032 or email geoff.gregory@plumpton.ac.uk

Plumpton College

Ditchling Road


Lewes BN7 3AE



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