Land Action- Return to Breaky Bottom

pandora turner circesfeast at
Tue Oct 5 21:12:59 BST 2010

--- On Tue, 5/10/10, downlanders <action4access at> wrote:

 The Return to Breaky Bottom

            Demonstration  Saturday 16th October

                Meet Southease Station 10. 35am 
            to demand the return of public access to this gorgeous downland site, forbidden to us since 2004. 
Despite its status as statutory access land, walkers' rights have been denied us by the private whim of one  landowner and upheld by Natural England  and by the local authority who are unwilling to act against him.

  This is the most important walk of this year's programme. It is doubly important that everyone attend this event  -  Bring placards and banners, family & friends - & picnic.

                               (Minimum walking commitment only 3 miles)

We start from Southease Station at 10. 35am  ( 9.39 train from Brighton - change at Lewes - arrives 10.34) for some autumn fun - demo, picnic and fungi hunt.  After the demo and picnic at Breaky Bottom, there will be a natural break, so some can return to Southease Station by an easy and clear route along the South Downs Path. The rest of us will continue the walk to explore some other local downland sites - with a special eye out for fungi. The walk will end at Southease Station - trains back to Brighton at 39 mins past each hour, arriving Brighton 24 mins past.

                  Usual things, strong footwear, warm clothes, water, picnic, no dogs (sorry)
                 If you've enjoyed any A4A walk, make sure you are at this one  - it will be a good one. Come one, come all!

Video from first demo in June  - ___________________________

We will be demonstrating against the exclusion of the public from a piece of
‘freedom to roam’ downland at Breaky
Bottom slope, TQ 404 053, on the Rodmell Downs between Brighton and Lewes, East
Sussex. The slope
is a lovely and ancient down pasture site with grand views and lots of the old
wildlife you get on what’s left of our traditional flowery chalk grasslands. 

landowner, who owns and lives at a vineyard in the valley bottom, has ‘pulled out all the stops’ to prevent the
public enjoying their new freedom on his land. 

objected to the slope’s new rights of public access: 

because he didn’t want the public enjoying this downland near to his home and

because he wanted to protect his shooting rights over the ground; 

and because there was a tiny disused chalk  quarry at one end of the site.

his appeal was rejected on the first two
grounds, he won a restriction order excluding the public from all this site
because the tiny quarry was deemed a hazard.

present, Natural England - at its most
supine - is colluding in the landowner’s hostility to access by renewing, in a
modified form, this restriction order on
the site, first granted at appeal.

landowner has failed to fence the quarry even though earlier this year he spent
£15,000 on re-fencing the entire access land site and fragmenting it into four
barbed wire paddocks. Yet all that is needed is a mere 70 metres of fencing
for this quarry to be made safe enough to satisfy Natural England’s
requirements for the re-opening of the site.

His farm
earns him the title of “the most-fenced farm on the South Downs”, with every
vine row, tiny paddock and field, fenced or hedged. 

And the
local authority, Lewes District Council, has so far failed to take the action
they are empowered to take under the Mines and Quarries Acts to fence the small
chalk pit and thus enable the site to be re-opened.

demonstration seeks to put pressure on the local Council, Natural England, and
the landowner to give us back our right to walk this ancient downland site. It
serves notice that no such acts of selfishness will go unchallenged. 



walking and working for a people's countryside

Facebook  - "Downlanders -Action for Access"

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