Jack & Jolyon

Jack, one of the two windmills at Clayton
The Argus reports:

A London barrister plans to spend up to £750,000 on the restoration of a historic Sussex windmill. Jolyon Maugham and his wife Claire bought the Grade II* listed Jack windmill at Clayton for £1.1 million last year and have submitted plans to the South Downs National Park Authority for a “massive” restoration project. If the plans get the go-ahead, the Maughams .. will put back the five-storey building’s distinctive timber cap, which was removed earlier this year for urgent repairs, to match its twin windmill Jill. And they also want to repair the Grade II* listed Duncton Mill on the site, and refurbish a granary and a 1960s house, where the family is currently living.

The View from Bahrain

It is reassuring to discover that the “Round-the-clock Security News Service” of the Police Media Center at the Ministry of the Interior in Bahrain is keeping a close eye on important developments in Fulking. They seem to have missed the recent burglary in Clappers Lane, though.

Fulking Drama – Land Rover plunges over the top

Land Rover - white roof still in place

Land Rover – white roof in place

Local Fulking resident Sheena Trist quickly called the emergency services last night when she heard screams for help.

Incredibly luckily, Sheena was saying goodbye to someone on her drive when she heard cries for help coming from the hill. A man called out from the crashed vehicle and they had to shout to each other. Sheena realised that she’d better phone for an ambulance.

Emergency vehicles very quickly turned up in large numbers. There were reportedly about twenty Police, Ambulance and Fire Brigade vehicles at one stage parked along the Edburton Road near Perching Drove. Many were left with their engines running and windscreen wipers wiping as the emergency service personnel had rushed on foot up the hill to come to the aid of the trapped people.

Land Rover - Roof Removed by the Fire Brigade

Land Rover – roof removed by the Fire Brigade

The 26 year old driver was trapped for over two hours as the Fire Brigade gradually cut bits off the Land Rover to free him. He was then airlifted away to hospital by the Coastguard helicopter.

The white Land Rover had been driving along the top of the hill on the South Downs Way with three occupants on board. At some stage it seemed to lose its grip and careered down the very steep side of the hill. The hill is about 400 feet high at that point. The car hit a bank and then came to rest about half way down the hill. The location it ended up made it inaccessible to all the emergency vehicles.

The BBC News website reports that Sussex Police said the driver had suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries, while two other men had minor injuries.

You can also read reports at The Argus, Brighton and Hove News, the BBC and The Mail Online (video footage too).

The Aftermath

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Fulking Drama-8

Photos courtesy of Nick Hughes

photo courtesy of Nick Hughes

Photos courtesy of Nick Hughes

photo courtesy of Nick Hughes

Photos courtesy of Nick Hughes

photo courtesy of Nick Hughes

Bank Holiday Walks

Walking the Downs above Fulking
The May bank holiday looms and you face the problem of ensuring that your weekend visitors are kept both entertained and exhausted. Walks provide a tried and tested solution to this problem. Over this past winter, the Local Walks page (in the sidebar, under “About Our Village”) has been greatly expanded. There are links to over forty walks as well as a dozen or so walking maps available for download.


Churches Conservation Trust takes over St. Botolph’s

St. Botolph's Church
The West Sussex Gazette reports:

A committee has been set up to oversee St Botolph’s Church, on the South Downs Way.

The meeting organised last Wednesday by the Churches Conservation Trust, which took over the Annington Road church’s care the same day, was attended by 12 people from Botolphs and the surrounding area. ..

The church, a perfect refuge for passers by, will be closed for major repairs this autumn, so those who would like to should visit the church over the next few months, the trust advises. It is currently open daily.

Miscommunication from SDNPA

SDNPA miscommunication
“There are several important points that we would like to highlight:

  • Information about the closure cannot be found on the SDNPA website, even through a search;
  • We have seen no evidence that the SDNPA want to engage with local businesses on a practical or proactive level, to promote them or work with them – this is a good example;
  • Surely the the SDNPA should consider this their responsibility to inform those affected – local residents, visitors, businesses?
  • The period of notice (6th March) was in any case far too short;
  • The period of closure spans the Easter weekend (could be fairly busy on the Downs at this time). What do walkers do when they come across a barrier on the South Downs Way with no alternative signposted? Where would they have found out about this closure?”

Click the diversion signs above to see the SDNPA response and other commentary.


“A Thriving Living Landscape”

A Thriving Living Landscape
The South Downs National Park Authority has issued a draft policy document [PDF], entitled A Thriving Living Landscape. and invited comments. Some extracts follow:

  • The National Park offers important opportunities for renewable energy generation including woodfuels, solar, wind and anaerobic digestion ..
  • Climate change or lack of appropriate management could be a threat to much of our heritage.
  • Allow the landscape to continue to evolve and become more resilient to climate change.
  • Contribute to the delivery of government climate change strategy targets through renewable energy schemes ..
  • There are five oil and gas wells within the Park some already in production others at the exploration and appraisal stage.
  • The South Downs National Park carbon footprint relating to transport is a significant proportion of the overall total .. promoting alternatives to the car also supports opportunities to make tourism more sustainable and increase spend per person (surveys show this is a fact) ..
  • Promote travel behaviour-change across the National Park ..
  • Increasing the proportion of visitors staying in the Downs .. develop .. a wide range of high quality accommodation provision ..
  • Most problems with visitor behaviour are local visits from surrounding areas ..
  • Volunteers are not widely representative of the local demographic.
  • Increase opportunities for young adults, people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, people with disabilities and people from areas of deprivation to visit the National Park.
  • Support land managers to access incentive schemes and work with partners to effectively target agri-environment grants and influence the development of future payment schemes.
  • With the removal of the Regional Development Agencies (RDA’s) and setting up of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) the economic framework of the region has changed significantly. There are three LEPs that cover the SDNP. LEPs currently administer the Growing Places Funds which are revolving funds aimed at unblocking development proposals. Currently no Rural Growth Funds are available within the South East LEPs. It is likely that the LEPs may have an enhanced role in distribution of EU structural funds. Future investments will need to fit with the LEPs Strategies for Growth. There is a need to ensure that these have a rural element and that they fit with SDNP objectives.