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“OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE LATEST STAGE OF EGRETS WAY FROM SOUTHEASE TO RODMELL”


By Dave - Posted on 17 June 2014

In spite of the heavy downpour just before the official opening, an enthusiastic crowd joined the celebration to mark the official opening of the Southease to Rodmell branch of The Egrets Way.   This is the second section of the planned network of multiuser routes which will eventually run from Lewes to Newhaven with connections to the villages in between.   Timing of the event was planned to coincide with the Southease Station time-table.

A last minute “adjustment” resulted in the official opening being extended to  2  linked ceremonies.   Young Toby from Rodmell School cut the ribbon at the first gate followed by Gus Christie joining the children at the second gate for photographs.    A great crowd for each stage, cheers  – and a “sea” of umbrellas!   At the opening ceremony, in expressing special thanks to Gus Christie for his generosity, Neville Harrison (Chair of the Ouse Valley Cycle Network (OVCN)) emphasized the key role played by both the two landowners in the creation of new paths.

The rain then virtually stopped and a “multi-user” party of enthusiasts followed the newly opened route from  Southease Bridge to the garden at Monk’s House, Rodmell (kind permission of the National Trust) for refreshments and stands of local interest.   Walkers, cyclists (many with bells on bikes), mobility wheel chairs and 2 horse riders from the Mid-Sussex Bridleways group were present and the scenic route was enjoyed by all.  

Those attending were widely representative of our Ouse Valley and Geoff Daw (Rector of Kingston Parochial Church – which includes Cranedown on Kingston Road, Swanborough and Iford, Rodmell, Southease and Piddinghoe) together with Curate Marcus  Brown joined the gathering.   Neville Harrison from Southease and senior officers from both the Southdowns National Park and Sustrans (who have worked on the Egrets Way Committee to create a new bridleway under the Paths for Communities project)  and many of the other people who had worked so hard (and long!) to achieve this facility were present.    Councillors from  East Sussex County, Lewes District and Parish and Town Councils  joined the group and John Parry of the Lewes Railway Land Wildlife Trust reminded us of the positive Lewes commitment.   As well as the horse riders, two representatives from the British Horse Society also enjoyed the event.

Arriving at the Monk’s House, Rodmell, we were soon refreshed by tea/soft fruit drinks and delicious small buns suitably iced to reflect the occasion and which were supplied by courtesy of the Abergavenny Arms.   

A really great achievement to successfully complete the 2nd phase – and grateful thanks to all those who have contributed so generously and  been in any way  involved in the long and laborious task to provide this safe route – thanks to include both those attending the ceremony and those who were unable to do so.

There is even more hard work to be done to complete the whole route and additional thanks to those who are already working on the next stage and those who will be involved.   Watch this space?

Rosemarie Jeffery – a grateful user of the route.

P.S.   Sustrains web-site  link is www.sustrans.org.uk

         Egrets Way web-site link is www.ovcn.org.uk  

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Success - Traffic Island final total raised

97.89%

Current Amount: £9789

Target: £10000