Wealden District Council

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Make the most of Wealden this summer

Media Release : 29 May 2018

It’s time to get up and go, enjoying the free access to the wonderful countryside on our doorstep.

Diplocks Wood

Walshes Park in Crowborough opened last May and is a 70 acre park with far reaching views across Wealden. It has a number of circular walks for all ages and abilities and further enhancements are being carried out this year to the site to improve access on the wetter parts of the site. There are a number of benches to allow you to sit and enjoy the view and environment, or simply explore the river bank.
“Public access opportunities are increasing through-out the District,” said Councillor Claire Dowling, Cabinet member for Public Health and Community Safety. “Through our planning policy, which aims to protect our landscape while making Wealden a great place to live, work and play; and community policies which seek to encourage healthy lifestyles, we are helping to provide everyone with the chance to enjoy exercising in the green gym that is the Wealden countryside.”
Works has started on Horsted Green Park, a 74 acre site, which when finished will provide a number of circular walks linking to existing public footpaths to the south of Uckfield. The construction will continue until late spring 2018 but progress can be seen from the public footpath which links Ridgewood to Horsted Green.
Following completion, the park will become an open access area for the public including dog walkers.
The Uckfield site, which will be Wealden’s second Suitable Alternative Green Space to meet the planning requirements to protect Ashdown Forest from increased visitor use, had earlier been called Owlsbury Park but the name has been changed to Horsted Green Park to better reflect its location. The landscaping work is being carried out by the Hailsham firm, Chaffin Works, and the project manager is the Uckfield firm of surveyors, Lawson Queay.
Don’t forget the Cuckoo Trail, the14 mile linear path which follows the line of the old railway linking Heathfield to Polegate, where you can follow the signposted links into Eastbourne. There are a number of free car parks along the route as well as circular walks which can be taken from the trail.
Further south, Diplocks Wood, which is owned by Wealden District Council, has been nominated for Local Green Space designation by the South Downs National Park. Also known as Warnock Coppice, the wood provides a natural recreational space for the people of Polegate and Willingdon.
The Council continues to manage the woods in an ecological-friendly way, widening some of the ‘rides’ in the wood to create open glades which benefit woodland flora, insects and butterflies. Tree waste resulting from the work is used to improve the paths.
A further public access benefit, enjoyed by thousands of people each year are the Birling Gap steps, which were re-sited over the winter following a period of dramatic erosion along the Seven Sisters cliffs. Now in a new anchorage closer to the cliff, thanks to Wealden District Council and the National Trust, who own the land at the top of the cliffs, the steps provide free access to some of the most famous scenery in England.
More information about walking and exercise opportunities can be found on the Healthy Wealden website, www.healthywealden.co.uk .

Photo shows one of the new pathways beckoning at Diplocks Wood.