Wealden District Council

Making the most of Walshes Park

Media Release : 20 March 2017

Initial access works are nearly completed on Walshes Park, the new open access countryside area for Crowborough, which should be open to the public in the spring.

Walshes Park

Wealden District Council has installed 2.8km of all-weather paths in the park. Over the coming years we will be restoring the existing grassland, which has been poached by overgrazing, and will allow a further series of marked grassland paths to be incorporated into the 70 acre site pasture. Work will also include planting new woodland areas followed by a raised boardwalk giving all-weather access across the marshland by the Alder Brook and providing a viewing area for the moated remains of what is believed to have been the original Walsh Manor.

“We have sought the views of our own local District Councillors, Crowborough Town Council, Rotherfield Parish Council, the Alderbrook Residents’ Association and High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but we’d like to hear from other prospective users of this exciting new facility,” said Councillor Ann Newton, Wealden Cabinet member for Planning and Development.

“We want to see Walshes Park used for enjoyment and exercise, taking advantage of its natural features. We do not want to see fitted it out for specific sports but do envisage some installations such as information boards, distance markers and picnic areas for an enhanced countryside experience.

“It will provide a particularly good venue for dog walkers – bearing in mind both dog and owner benefit from the exercise. The more enjoyable the venue, the longer the walk.”

Please email your ideas to info@wealden.gov.uk. A formal opening of the site, which in planning terms is called a ‘Suitable Alterative Natural Green Space’ (SANGS), will take place later this year.

“Walshes Park has been bought through Wealden’s Revolving Infrastructure Fund and £800,000 worth of restoration and improvement work is taking place,” said Councillor Bob Standley, Council Leader. “The cost will be refunded from developers’ contributions including the Community Infrastructure Levy as new developments, including the 160 new homes to be built at Walsh Manor Farm, take place.

“The open country area at Walshes Farm is a vital part of the infrastructure of the north of Wealden, allowing an alternative recreational venue to Ashdown Forest as new residential development takes place, supporting the local economy. By using the Revolving Infrastructure Fund, we are able to ensure infrastructure improvements take place ahead of anticipated demand.”

Temporary car parking for Walshes Park is in Alderbrook Way, in addition to access off the local Public Footpath network. On-going conservation work over the coming year includes creating an access to the remains of the historic moated manor, increasing the number of native trees, removing invasive Himalayan balsam from banks of the Alder Brook and looking to see how more wildlife including owls and brown trout can be encouraged back to this important example of High Weald meadowland.

Work is already starting on Wealden’s Second SANGS, Owlsbury Park at Little Horsted, which will provide recreational countryside for the people of Uckfield and the surrounds.

When open, there will be a pedestrian access off the local Public Footpath network, also via an underpass on the A22 and a car park in Horsted Pond Lane.

Here is a short video of Walshes Park from the air - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn9Qm_PfaQX78awfJbzQGkQ