Inside the iconic cottages for the very first time...

The Coastguard Cottages

The Coastguard Cottages

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THE ICONIC Coastguard Cottages will be open to the public for the first time to mark a historic moment.

Members of the public – under the umbrella of the Cuckmere Pathfinder Project – will be deciding what they believe is the best future approach to flood management for the Cuckmere Valley.

This decision will be relayed to East Sussex County Council on June 7, which has promised to incorporate it into council policy.

Although the Environment Agency has decided to withdraw flood management for the area - and leave it to return to its natural state - the ESCC may provide its own flood management, if the Pathfinder Project backs it and if money can be raised.

To coincide with the announcement residents and professional artists are being invited to creatively express their responses to the Cuckmere at an exhibition.

Artists working in any media, including the written word, are being asked to submit work that is either inspired by, or features views from or of Cuckmere Haven for display at various venues around Seaford and the Seven Sisters Country Park between June 10 and 19.

Organisers of Celebrate Cuckmere are also looking for artefacts and other historical images and memorabilia relating to the Cuckmere. 

Other events planned include themed guided walks, talks by local historians and archaeologists, workshops for children and adults and the opening of the Coastguard Cottages for the first time to the public. Artist Chris Drury said, “Cuckmere Haven is a place to which I am constantly drawn, I guess I must walk down there two or three times a month.

“The meandering estuary enclosed by the chalk cliffs is a hypnotic landscape, how much more so will it be if the river is allowed to find its own course, with its ancient cleansing rhythms of flow, it will return the valley to its extraordinary capacity for rich biodiversity.”

For details of how to take part visit www.celebratecuckmere.com or write to Celebrate Cuckmere, 5 Coastguard Cottages, Cuckmere Haven, Seaford, BN25 4AR, or telephone: 07943 091003.

Details about the Pathfinder Project, the various options proposed for the Cuckmere and dates for the remaining public consultation can be found at www.cuckmerepathfinder.org.uk