Matters

Parks & Rangers

Natural meadows help wildlife to thrive

A Blue Heart campaign meadow at East Court, East GrinsteadWe have set aside more space in local parks and open spaces this summer to create natural meadow areas that encourage native insects, wildlife and grassland species to thrive.

Areas of open space will be left to grow throughout the spring and summer in 40 locations across Mid Sussex as part of the national Blue Campaign.

Lowland grass is an essential part of the UK’s ecological infrastructure, but it is in rapid decline. The Blue campaign is a conservation initiative that aims to re-wild areas across Great Britain by allowing grass to grow naturally.

You will be able to spot the protected areas easily because each one is marked with a blue heart symbol.

To find out more about rewilding and increasing biodiversity in the UK visit www.bluecampaignhub.com or email parksopenspaces@midsussex.gov.uk 

Council plants 250 trees in honour of The Queen

Tree planting at Ashenground Woods Nature ReserveWe've planted 250 new trees at Ashenground Woods Nature Reserve in Haywards Heath as part of The Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The new trees will form part of The Queen’s Green Canopy, a network of individual trees, avenues, copses and whole woodlands that have been planted by people across the UK in honour of the Queen’s 70 years of service.

Mid Sussex District Council Vice-Chairman, Cllr Phillip Coote was joined by councillors, MSDC contractors Id Verde, County Tree Surgeons and local volunteers in March to plant the trees, which were generously donated by Government software provider Arcus Global.

The saplings, which are a mixture of British native species comprising English Oak, Hawthorn, Field Maple and Rowan, will enhance and extend the woodland, regenerating the area and enabling new habitats to flourish.

Residents can use a dedicated map to view the locations of all the trees planted across the UK in honour of Her Majesty at www.queensgreencanopy.org

Pump track celebration for Bolney children

Bolney Pump TrackChildren and families from Bolney joined Team GB Olympian Kyle Evans during the Easter school holidays to celebrate the opening of a new BMX pump track.

Pro BMX Rider Kyle Evans demonstrated the best way to ride the new track, met with the youngsters and provided valuable advice. A live DJ kept the tunes flowing during the afternoon and ran DJ workshops so young people could have a go for themselves. Sussex Clubs for Young People provided arts activities and Bolney based bike repair shop Charlie’s Pedal Shed was there to offer free safety checks for bikes and scooters.

We opened the new bike track at the start of February, and it is already proving popular with local riders. It has been designed and built by pump track experts Clark and Kent, the same company who built the London 2012 Olympic Games BMX Supercross Track.

For those unfamiliar with BMX riding, a pump track is made up of bumpy track, known as rollers and banked turns called berms. Riders use pumping up and down body movements to generate forward momentum, and the track maximises that momentum so they can navigate the course with only a small amount of pedalling required.

The new Bolney Pump Track is 80 metres long and is surfaced with tarmac to create a smooth ride and ensure children are able to use it all year round. The course has been specifically designed so that it can be used by riders of all ability levels. A young novice rider with no experience still has the same excitement and user experience as someone who has been riding for years. 

£1.5 million for park improvements

Finches Field MasterplanThe Council will be investing £1.5 million in key parks and open spaces across the District over the next 12 months.

We've consulted with residents to create masterplans for improvements at Hemsley’s Meadow and Finches Field in Pease Pottage, Mount Noddy in East Grinstead, and Victoria Park in Haywards Heath.

Here are just some of the potential improvement projects for each park and open space:

Hemsley’s Meadow and Finches Field

All weather pathways that create circular walks and a resurfaced car park
Establishment of a wet woodland
Pathways mown through wildflower grasses in the summer
New play areas for children


Mount Noddy

Leisure equipment for older children and young adults
New sensory play area
Improved lighting
Creation of a picnic meadow

Victoria Park

New play area facilities
Improved frontage along South Road 

To view the plans in detail please visit www.midsussex.gov.uk/leisure-sport/parks/




Playground improvements

St Andrews Playground Burgess HillAt Turners Hill Recreation Ground, the new climbing frame and in ground roundabout are now open and available for play! The old bark pit has been cleared and replaced with a surface that is more easily accessible. We have also recently completed the installation of a new half pipe for older children to practice their skating, scootering and BMXing. 

Improvements at St Andrews Play Area in Burgess Hill have been completed and the new equipment is open for use. We have installed a new toddler playhouse and slide, a new junior climbing frame and slide, a spinny bowl and a set of swings. There are a variety of swing seats to suit different ages and abilities together with new trees and other plants.
 

We will be starting work to improve Forest Fields Play Area in Haywards Heath this summer. We plan to carry out further consultation with local residents before installing a new climbing frame, large seesaw and toddler slide and improving accessibility with new surfacing. 

Looking forward to the rest of the financial year, we are planning to improve another two play areas, one at Hollands Way Play Area in East Grinstead and one at The Dolphin Leisure Centre in Haywards Heath. We are also working in partnership with Pyecombe Parish Council to try and secure some external funding so we can upgrade the play area at The Wyshe over the next couple of years. 

Please keep an eye on our website (https://www.midsussex.gov.uk/leisure-sport/playgrounds/ for updates on these projects.

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