Campaign continues as Hellingly wood is named a community asset

Park Wood has been granted status as an Asset of Community Value
Park Wood has been granted status as an Asset of Community Value

A wood in Hellingly has been granted status as an Asset of Community Value this week with help from members of the public, but campaigners say the fight is not over.

Friends of Park Wood organised a mass-walk through on August 12 to protest the sell-off of the land by the Environment Agency, and say they will continue their campaign to buy the wood.

“We are absolutely thrilled,” said Paul Rees, who orgnaised the walk. “This is a massive boost and buying the land is now a realistic prospect.”

The Environment Agency said they recognised the site was of value to the community, but money from the sale would go back to the Government “to be spent where the need is greatest.”

Friends of Park Wood fear a private owner would make the 152 acres of mixed deciduous woodland less pleasant for families and dog-walkers among others.

A meeting at the Charles Hunt Centre will be held on Wednesday August 23 at 7.30pm where Friends of Park Wood will form a committee and discuss the next steps for the project.

Jo Irvine, who has helped lead the campaign said, “We need all the support we can get to preserve our wood. We have six weeks to prove we are a credible group to be taken seriously.”

Mr Rees said, “The purpose of the meeting is to carry this forward.” He said he plans to contact the Environment Agency for a meeting once membership of the committee is fixed.

“We may be able to negotiate a deal or we may have to continue the fight,” he said.