Shaping the future of our countryside access

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

The council has now completed its consideration of options for the remaining eight countryside sites (two of which it currently manages as Local Nature Reserves on behalf of other landowners.)

A decision has now been taken to transfer four countryside sites to other not-for-profit organisations:

  • Seven Sisters Country Park will be transferred to the ownership of the South Downs National Park Authority
  • Ditchling Common Country Park has been approved to be transferred to Sussex Wildlife Trust
  • Ouse Estuary Nature Reserve and Riverside Country Park will be transferred to Newhaven Town Council.

Further discussions continue 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.

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

These decisions, and authority to proceed with transfers, were made by the Lead Member for Transport and Environment on 20 January 2020.

If you have any questions about the changes to countryside sites or the countryside strategy in general, you can email us at

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