Shaping the future of our countryside access

Following consultation, our Countryside Access Strategy was approved by East Sussex County Council’s (ESCC’s) Cabinet on 27 June 2017. You can read the details, meeting papers and strategy on the Cabinet meetings page.

Under the Countryside Access Strategy, the County Council will continue to manage and maintain 2,000 miles of public rights of way and two of its countryside sites – the Cuckoo Trail and Forest Way Country Park.

ESCC has now completed its consideration of options for the transfer of the remaining eight countryside sites, two of which it currently manages as Local Nature Reserves on behalf of other landowners, to other not-for-profit organisations.

The sites include Seven Sisters Country Park, Ditchling Common Country Park, Chailey Common and Weir Wood Local Nature Reserves, Ouse Estuary Nature Reserve, Riverside Park, Shinewater Park, Broomhill Sands and Camber Sand Dunes.

The proposals, being considered by the Lead Member for Transport and Environment, include transferring ownership of Seven Sisters Country Park to the South Downs National Park Authority, the transfer of the Ouse Estuary Nature Reserve and Riverside Park to Newhaven Town Council, and Ditchling Common Country Park to Sussex Wildlife Trust.

Further discussions are ongoing regarding land at Camber and Broomhill Sands and the management of Chailey Common LNR, and we are considering options for Weir Wood LNR and Shinewater Park. Any sites not transferred will continue to be managed by the County Council.

These changes, if approved, will secure the sites for enjoyment by this and future generations, enabling long-term improvements and benefits for wildlife, residents and visitors.

All the sites owned by ESCC will remain in public ownership and public access will also continue to be ensured.

Further details can be found on the Lead Member for Transport and Environment meeting page.

If you have any questions about these proposals, you can email us at or call our contact centre on 0345 60 80 193. If you would like to write in, our address is: Countryside Access Strategy, West B, County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes, BN7 1UE

Shaping the future of our countryside access
Shaping the future of our countryside access