PRESS RELEASE: Sevenoaks Town Council set to purchase 14 acres of ancient woodland after unbelievable response to pledge campaign £102,975 pledged!

Published: 27 February 2024

Sevenoaks Town Council is delighted and beyond grateful to be able to announce that its recently held Pledge Campaign, where the Town Council asked for donation pledges to match its own contribution of £100,000 towards the purchase of 14 acres of ancient woodland, has met and exceeded its goal of £100,000 in 23 days. Following this unprecedented response, Sevenoaks Town Council made the unanimous decision at last night’s Town Council meeting to proceed with the purchase of the Longspring Woods.

This news comes after a magnificent response from the Sevenoaks Community, with pledges having come in from £5 upwards, many at £100, £1000, and larger pledges of £5,000, £10,000 and £50,000. School children and resident associations have worked together to provide joint pledges. Those who have been unable to donate have pledged help In Kind including litter picking, gardening and manual labour.

It is because of the generosity of the public, that Sevenoaks Town Council is able to proceed with the purchase as well as to progress initial improvements including interpretation boards, parking area improvements, litter bins and potential boundary repairs. The long-term goal is improve links between Longspring Woods and Sevenoaks Common, to create an attractive and safe walking route for the public, nestled within the attractive wooded area.

A Thank You video has been published, with statement from the Mayor of Sevenoaks, available to view via the following link:

In addition to the Feasibility Study, which provides additional detail as well as a Management Strategy, please see the below for some background information on the project:
Sevenoaks Town Council registered the Longspring Woods as an Asset of Community Value in 2023, on the grounds that it furthers the social wellbeing and recreational interests of the community.

When the Woods came up for sale this year it presented a real challenge to find the funds quickly and before the statutory 6 month protection period ended – this being whereby the land is temporarily removed from the Open Market in order to allow community groups to gather funding so that the Asset of Community Value can be retained for guaranteed current and future generations’ use.

The Town Council could use some of its funds to the sum of £100,000 from a previous sale of land, which needs to be spent on Capital Projects including acquisition of land.

It is one of the aims of the Town Council in its Green Community Investment Plan to act when rarely, but occasionally land does come up for sale in Sevenoaks. The Town Council will seek to obtain additional land if it could be used for community benefit.

There was too little time to secure external grants even if these were available and therefore there was a real challenge for the remaining £100,000.

The Town Council asked the Sevenoaks Community for help, unsure of what to expect as it was a really big Ask to raise £100,000 in 23 days.

The response from the community was unbelievable, with a total of £102,975 having been pledged by Sevenoaks Community towards the purchase of Longspring Woods.

We will now be contacting our pledgees in order to gather the funds in an Escrow Account created for the project, and will keep the public updated on the progress in purchasing the land.

If you have any queries, please contact

Georgie Elliston