Horsted Green Park, Wealden’s latest open access countryside area, was officially opened on Wednesday 18 September by the District Council vice chairman Ron Reed.
The park is in 74 acres of rolling Wealden countryside on the western edge of Uckfield, and will provide an alternative recreational space to Ashdown Forest for residents of Uckfield and Isfield.
“Horsted Green Park is an excellent place for ramblers, dog walkers and nature lovers,” said Councillor Ann Newton, Wealden Cabinet member responsible for landscape and conservation.
“It is open countryside looking out over Uckfield and High Weald, with three different way-marked paths and range of different natural features to experience, including wild flower meadows, orchards, ponds and woodland.
“There is a car park for visitors in Horsted Pond Lane, postcode TN22 5TH, but walkers can also get there using the footpath running underneath the Uckfield bypass from the Ridgewood estate. Gravel pathways provide all year walking routes and are accessible for wheelchair users. The walking routes are supplemented by grass paths which provide additional routes during the summer months.”
The new open access countryside area will help reduce the environmental damage caused by increased visitor numbers to Ashdown Forest, an ecologically important stretch of lowland heath-land which is both a Special Protection Area and a Special Area of Conservation.
In planning terms, it is known as a Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space (SANGS) and has been paid for through contributions from housing developments taking place in the area.
Horsted Green Park includes an orchard which has been planted with traditional varieties of fruit and nut trees.
Horsted Green Park has already proved popular with local dog walkers who have been able to use the park over the summer as the final landscaping took place.
Previously the site had been a large arable field with a few trees and an overgrown pond.