Momentum grows for park

Shinewater Park Eastbourne, the lake. June 2011 ENGSNL00120110614095019
Shinewater Park Eastbourne, the lake. June 2011 ENGSNL00120110614095019

Work is progressing well to establish Eastbourne Park as an iconic ecological and recreational attraction for the town.

A nature reserve, an educational visitor centre, non-motorised water sports and more cycle and walking paths are initiatives in the pipeline for the 1,000 acre plot between Kings Drive and Langney.

Commissioned by Eastbourne Borough Council, the project has already led to the creation of a new brand for the park and website www.eastbournepark.co.uk

Eastbourne Park is currently grazed wetland which council officers say plays a fundamental role in protecting the town’s urban areas from flooding, as well as providing a habitat for many species of wildlife.

On the back of a report by landscape consultants, due in early 2015, a meeting of all the landowners with an interest in the park will steer which ideas to prioritise and if there a shared ambition to achieve them.

Councillor Steve Wallis, the cabinet portfolio holder for the environment, said, “I believe the park has a wealth of potential that I hope can be harnessed for the benefit of local people and tourists.

“However, this project cannot be delivered by the council alone. Our work relies on the cooperation and support of our working partners, each one with a valuable contribution to make to the future of this important green open space.”

Ideas that are being explored include a nature reserve, promotion of Eastbourne’s Bronze Age ancestry, an educational visitor centre, improved access, more cycle and walking paths and non-motorised water sports.

The initiatives build on the work by West Rise School that has seen a Bronze Age round house created, Bronze Age workshops for the children and the introduction of a small herd of water buffalo and hives to support the local bee population.

More information can be found at www.eastbournepark.co.uk where people can learn more about the area and have their say on the ideas being considered.