Herstmonceux Parish Council

Serving the people of Herstmonceux Parish

Clerk: Clare Harrison
The Parish Office, 4 The Old
Forge, Gardner Street
Herstmonceux, East Sussex
BN27 4LG

Tel: 01323 833312

Herstmonceux Community Routes

Walks pamphlets with maps

Downloadable leaflets showing maps and information for the 8 suggested Community Routes walks are found below

Why Walk?

It is widely recognised that walking in the countryside has very positive effects on people's health, both physical and mental. This is particularly true during times of stress. Around Herstmonceux we have a wonderful diverse footpath network that includes the High Weald AONB and Pevensey Levels. In order to encourage people to take advantage of the local countryside there are a number of guided walks throughout the year organised by Cowbeech Bonfire Society, Herstmonceux Integrated Health Centre, The Herstmonceux Walking Group, All Saints Church and Vitality Villages. There are also the Walks Around Herstmonceux pamphlets for self-guided walks, which are available freely from the health centre, the Village Information Centre and All Saints Church.

Some of us however find it very difficult to negotiate these footpaths, whether it is a problem with encroaching or fallen vegetation, badly maintained stiles or simply the physical demands needed to climb over stiles. To address these issues Vitality Villages is leading a Community Routes initiative that also involves Herstmonceux Parish Council, East Sussex County Council and local landowners with the aim of improving the local footpath network to make it more accessible thus allowing more people to reap the benefits of walking for pleasure.

Community Routes are shortish sections of footpath that have identifiable starting and finishing points. Basically, all of the local footpath network can be split up this way. In choosing which footpaths to improve, consideration is given to proximity to centres of residence, popularity and whether the route could link up with other Community Routes to make longer walks. Improvements usually concentrate on ensuring that the footpath is clear and open and replacing difficult and/or dangerous stiles with either ladder stiles, metal pedestrian gates or kissing gates. Footpath Clearance is undertaken by the Truggers group of volunteers working under the authority of E.S.C.C.. Ladder stiles are constructed by The Men's Shed and the metal pedestrian gates are sourced and financed through Herstmonceux Parish Council and E.S.C.C.. Landowners work with Vitality Villages to devise the most appropriate improvements for their land management purposes and are usually very supportive financially. Most groundwork, apart from the installation of kissing gates, is undertaken by the Truggers group.

Up to December 2020 five kissing gates, four pedestrian gates and a ladder stile have been installed around the Herstmonceux and Windmill Hill. Many miles of footpath have been cleared by the Truggers. Plans are in advanced stages to improve footpaths in the Cowbeech area and near All Saints Church.

More volunteers are needed and always welcome. If anyone would like to get involved with footpath clearance, ladder stile construction or installing gates and ladder stiles in the field please feel free to contact Steve Burke on 01323 833473 for more information.

Photo Gallery

photo of new metal gate

Metal Pedestrian Gate in Windmill Hill

photo of new wooden kissing gate

Kissing Gate in Butlers Lane

photo showing hedgerow clearance working party

Truggers and Community Routes Footpath Clearance in the Cowbeech Area

photo showing hedgerow clearance working party

Truggers and Community Routes Footpath Clearance in the Herstmonceux Area

photo showing working party preparing ground for new gate

Truggers and Community Routes Installing a Pedestrian Gate

Truggers and Community Routes Ladder Stile in Bagham Lane