Hastings is blessed with many woodlands within and around the borough that give the town a very green and welcoming appearance. Many of these woodlands are ancient woodlands
Most of the important and larger woodlands in the Borough contain gill woodland. The word gill comes from the Norse 'gil' meaning steep sided ravine.
Old Roar Gill, Marline Valley, Churchwood and the glens of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve are classic examples of woods with steep sided valleys cut out of the sandstone bedrock by thousands of years of erosion by freshwater streams.
These gills remain frost free and humid throughout the year therefore providing a micro-climate that is very different from other more open dryer woodlands in south east England.
Species that are only usually found in the milder and wetter areas of western Britain can be found in these gills. Their coastal location and the climatic effect of the sea make them even more special. They are home to some species that are not found anywhere else in southern and eastern Britain.