Many of you will already have heard the deeply disappointing news that Hastings Borough Council effectively lost their case against Rocklands’ appeal - the inspector’s decision was published this week, though a copy was not sent to the Friends. This long and sorry episode has lasted for over two years and reflects very poorly indeed on the Council’s custodianship of the Country Park. We can only hope that lessons have been learned and that the Country Park will be better protected in the future, especially in the light of ever increasing pressure to develop. I will speak more about this at Saturday’s AGM and will be happy to answer questions then.
Hastings Country Park is a special place.
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Call Michael Moor 01424 425409
From: Murray Davidson
Subject: Heavy horses at Hastings Country Park
As part of our continuing sustainable management at Hastings Country Park we have invited Frankie Woodgate and her heavy shire type horses back for 4 days from 20th June. The horse drawn rollers are a traditional way of managing bracken in areas where it is impossible for modern machinery to access.
The horses will focus on an area of Warren Glen where Bracken is of a particular issue. The rollers bruise the bracken reducing its vigour over time. The horses were a great attraction last year and they made a significant impact on the areas of bracken where they worked previously.
If you haven’t seen the Horses in action, it is well worth a visit as this is a great opportunity to see one of the innovative tools we are employing to manage Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve.
I attach a picture of them here last year.
Environment and Natural Resources Manager
Hastings Borough Council
Tel 01424 451107
For more information on about the wildlife and nature reserves of Hastings and the south east coast visit, http://www.rxwildlife.info/wildlife-sites/
Participants needed for a fun family event with Kent-based artist, Catherine Farr.
Be inspired to make a painting, collage, or drawing using a variety of natural materials, pastels, crayons and tissue paper. You are encouraged to bring along any natural items of your own which you like to incorporate in your art work such as pressed flowers, pine cones, leaves, pebbles, etc. Catherine will be on hand to help and advise and we hope that the Country Park Nature Reserve just outside will provide loads of inspiration!
Suitable for adults and children over 8 years old.
Numbers are limited so please book in advance by phoning Jill Howell on: 01424 815256
Time: 10.30am for about 2 hours
Location: The Milking Parlour, Place Farm (Directions supplied on booking)
Cost: £2, or free to Friends of HCPNR (Donations for cost of materials welcomed)
On Saturday 21 May, for our second outdoor event of the year, Ben Edwards took 15 people on a discovery tour of the verge of Coastguard Lane.
Ben, an expert in the use of herbs and plants for food and medical remedies, explained the uses for the huge range of plants growing on a hundred metres of verge.
There was such a range of useful plants along this short strip that we were fascinated for two hours. It was a delight to hear and share in Ben’s enthusiasm.
Ben brought his thermos flask along and we dropped, under his direction, our snippings into the hot water to produce a refreshing tisane which was poured into individual glasses for us all to sample.
We look forward to welcoming you to our second outdoor event of the year this coming Saturday, 21st May, when Ben Edwards will be taking us on a herbal walk in the Country Park Nature Reserve. Along the way Ben will prepare a tisane of herbs and other plants for us to sample afterwards.
Toilet facilities available. Regret no dogs. The cost is £2 or free to Friends of HCPNR.
Meet at 10.30am at the Country Park Visitor Centre. Please note that there is a car parking charge of £2 for this car park.
Last Saturday, 18 of us braved the cold, showers and hail, for a walk at North's Seat in the Country Park, with experts Alan Parker, Steve Peak Jill Howell and Michael Moor to learn about local history and also the flora and fauna of this area. Many thanks to our experts and all those who took part.
A reminder that the Planning Inspector will be holding a public hearing relating to the unauthorised building at Rocklands Caravan Park this coming Thursday 21st April at 10am in the Sussex Hall, White Rock Theatre. All are welcome to attend and the more who do so the more the Inspector will be able to see the level of public concern about this case. The hearing may continue on Friday 22nd if the Inspector deems it necessary. Members of the public, including representatives of the Friends, may be asked to speak at the Inspector’s discretion. We look forward to seeing many of you there for this crucial meeting.
Join us and experts from our Committee for a walk at North's Seat to discover flora, fauna and the history of this interesting and beautiful part of the Country Park.
Meet at the Picnic Site car park in Fairlight Road
10:30 Saturday 16th April.
Walk is free for members. £2 for non members.
Paths are still very muddy. Wellies or stout footwear are recommended!
Our events have got off to a very good start this year with two excellent talks from popular local speakers.
In February Andy Dinsdale regaled us with tales of beachcombing in the Rye Bay area and his illustrations showed a plethora of washed-up items from lobster pot tags from Canada to pieces of Lego and Smarties tube tops. Amongst the real items he brought in for us to handle were the much sought-after sea beans which were the stars of a previous talk.
Last Saturday we were greatly entertained by Ken Brooks’s talk, intriguingly titled “Beside the Seaside”, in which he took a light-hearted look at seaside life in our local area through the ages but concentrating on the Victorian and later periods. The illustrations were delightful – from Edwardian ladies and gentlemen posing in their “modest” bathing costumes to the bathing belles of the 1960s! Ken finished his talk with a brief look at the history and geology of Ecclesbourne Glen which featured some unfamiliar views of the cafes and watch-houses which used to be in this area before either being demolished or washed away.
Both these talks were held in our new venue, All Saints Church Hall, in All Saints Street, Hastings Old Town. This hall is much more spacious than our previous venue and we have received many very positive comments on our choice. The next event to be held there will be our AGM in June so we look forward to welcoming you then.
In the meantime, please make a note in your diaries of our first outdoor event of the year, “A Walk with the Experts to North’s Seat”, when we will be enjoying a gentle stroll in the company of Steve Peak, Alan Parker and other experts from the Friends who will chat about the history, natural history and other issues affecting this scenic area. The date is Saturday 16th April. Meet at the Fairlight Road Picnic Site at 10.30am. Stout footwear is recommended!