The new display board which the Friends helped to design is now in place at the viewpoint at Rock-a-Nore. The display includes information about the geology, history and flora and fauna of this dramatic area. Thanks are due to all those who helped bring this worthwhile project to fruition.
Just to remind you that on Saturday 12th September, The Friends of HCPNR invite you to join them for a walk in the country park led by national tree expert, Dr Owen Johnson, who will be looking at some of the wonderful variety of trees to be found here. Charge: £2, free to Friends of HCPNR
Meet at the Visitor Centre at 10:30.
For more information contact: Jill Howell on 01424 815256 or Jan Armour on 01424 715556
On Saturday 15th August 28 Friends and visitors enjoyed a guided walk on the East Hill.
Steve gave us a fascinating history beginning at a time long before Hastings existed. Then dry landstretched away to the South and what would become the River Rhine flowed where the English Channel now separates us from the rest of Europe. Then on through history; Stone Age settlements,Roman occupation, Norman invasion, Victorian and Edwardian activity, agriculture and trade. Allhave left their mark on the area.
Alan described the wildlife we might expect to see, pointing out a pair of Ravens, the rare nesting of Greater Black-Backed Gulls on a rooftop in the Old Town and encouraging us to look out forvarious bird migrations from early September to early November.
Jacqueline showed us a wide variety of plant-life and explained how the varying habitat influenced what grew where, showing as an example, Hairy Sedge and indicating the area where it was growing. And Jill showed us the Alexanders plant, the seeds of which we were told could be used as a pepper substitute.
Their combined knowledge and enthusiasm made for a most enjoyable walk. Thank you to them all.
On the 15th August at 10:30 meet at the top of the East Hill Lift and join us for a walk on the East Hill. We will be in the company of various experts from within the ranks of the Friends who will be exploring both the history and the natural history of this scenic area. Charge: £2, free to Friends of HCPNR For more information contact: Jill Howell on 01424 815256 or Jan on 01424 715556
A lucky few of us met Julie at the Milking Parlour on a gloriously hot, sunny Saturday morning to hear about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into running this enormous nature reserve with only a handful of staff. We began with a quick talk by Julie in which she ran us through the long list of daily and weekly tasks which must be carried out before even thinking of the many additional seasonal and ad-hoc jobs to be done. Emptying bins, checking animals, inspecting fences, cutting verges, opening the Visitor Centre, etc., etc. inevitably lead to clearing up after fly tipping, dealing with graffiti, helping rough-sleepers, and replacing damaged signage. All the unglamorous work of which most of us remain completely unaware!
Julie also explained the ownership of the Country Park and the way the various agencies work together - Council Officers, Rangers, Natural England, TCV, Groundworks, Sussex Wildlife Trust, Conservation Volunteers, VC volunteers, etc.. It is a real eye-opener to realise just how many people are involved in the life of the nature reserve, and what a job it is to co-ordinate it all and ensure its smooth running. Much of the money to run the County Park comes from Natural England via Higher Level Stewardship and without that the operation would have to be very drastically reduced.
After this thorough grounding in the administration of the Country Park we all piled into Julie’s Land Rover to see the theory in action in Ecclesbourne Glen. Here we were able to walk some of the paths currently closed by last year's landslip and to see the excellent work the conservation volunteers have been doing to clear paths and re-instate steps and boardwalks. The result will be the re-opening of many of the paths within Ecclesbourne Glen, and, most important, the option to follow a circular route around the Glen for the first time in a long while.
Enormous thanks to Julie for what was a fascinating morning. We had the opportunity not only to hear so much about the running of the Country Park, but also to ask as many questions as we wished and to see work in progress on the ground. If Julie finds time to offer the same event next year I would thoroughly recommend to anyone with an interest in the Country Park that they come along…
Today the BBC are due to film the heavy horses that are working on the Fire Hills - so presumably this item will be on the local TV news today and/or tomorrow.
They are beautiful animals - gentle giants!
For this week only, 29th June to 3rd July, heavy working horses will be working in Warren Glen. They will be pulling a heavy roller to bash and bruise areas of bracken in the Glen. Enlisting the help of working horses to pull heavy rollers to bash and bruise the bracken is an effective, traditional and low impact method of reducing the vigour and growth of bracken in hard to reach areas and avoids the use of chemicals. Frankie Woodgate and her forestry horses, 13 year old ‘Yser’ and 9 year old ‘Tobias’ will be on site at Warren Glen from the 29 June for around 5 days. They spend most of the year extracting timber from woods around Sussex and Kent but spend the summer rolling bracken. Everyone is welcome to come along and see the horses at work in this unique natural environment.
Further to our post below, we have now discovered that, incredible though it may seem, Hastings Borough Council are not allowing public comments on this application. After all we have been through it seems that attitudes still have not changed within the planning department. In the circumstances we would urge Friends to write directly to their councillors.
Sadly we must draw Friends’ attention to yet another planning application relating to Rocklands Caravan Park, this one concerning an unauthorised storage building erected at Rocklands some years ago. Please do add your comments on the planning website as public engagement in this serious issue is important for the future of the Country Park: