Hurst Meadows Advisory Board
MINUTES of Meeting 7.30pm Tuesday 20 November 2018 at the Village Centre,
Hurstpierpoint BN6 9UY
|Stephen Hand – Chairman David Evans Rachel Felton Patrick Haworth||Claire Majsai Michael Nailard David Brown Georgina Judd||Adrien Bischoff-Dyson Helen Brangwyn Steve Whitehead Donna Willis|
Stephen Hoyles (Clerk)
Nick Sinclair (Facilities Manager)
The Chairman introduced and welcomed Martin Sadler who would be giving a presentation in item HM18/15. Community Orchard.
HM18/12. Apologies for absence and declarations of interest: The following apologies for absence had been received prior to the meeting and were accepted:, Amanda Geel, John Wilkinson, Tony Whitbread. There were no declarations of interest.
HM18/13. Minutes of the meeting of the Hurst Meadows Advisory Board 10 July 2018: It was noted that Cllr Allan Brown had attended the meeting. The Board received and approved the minutes which were then signed by the Chairman.
HM18/14. Hurst Meadows Management Committee meetings 16 August 2018 and 18 October 2018:
The Board noted the minutes. (REF: Minutes of Hurst Meadows Management Committee 16 August 2018 and 18 October 2018 ). The Board was then asked to consider the following item:
(1) Wilderness and Tilleys Copse Woodland acquisition (Meeting 16 August 2018, Minute PA18/021): It was reported to the Committee that the Council was expected to shortly receive the land by way of legal transfer, together with part of the commuted sum, in accordance with the s106 Planning Agreement with Bovis Homes. The Committee was therefore asked to confirm the proposed arrangements for the management of the woodland for consideration and comment by the Hurst Meadows Advisory Board, as follows:
- (1) Woodland Zone 1 – Wilderness: This area between Marchants Close and Iden Hurst is ancient woodland and includes a series of redundant ponds (thought to be former trout ponds) and significantly boggy zones. The area also contains steep banks and some fallen and decaying trees and branches. This is a good wildlife habitat and strong efforts should be made to conserve the existing flora and fauna. It is therefore proposed that arrangements are made to restrict public access but allow free access by wildlife (deer, fox, badger, and smaller wildlife). The area would therefore be fenced with post + wire but also providing tunnels for fox and badger.
- (2) Woodland Zone 2 – Tilleys Copse: This area, north of Iden Hurst and immediately to the east of Fairfield Recreation Ground, is also ancient woodland, but more open in nature and with less hazards at ground level. There is also a public footpath through the middle of the woodland and it is extensively used by walkers. It is therefore proposed that the area is not fenced, but that the footpath is clearly designated and walkers discouraged from taking other routes. Any evidence of informal paths being made through the woodland would be discouraged by the placing of broken branches and fallen trees.
The Board discussed the matter, noting that three Board members had recently visited the woodland. It had been noted that one former pond still contained some water, the banks were very steep sided in places, and that there was concern about the operation of the new culvert in Tilleys Copse, due to some standing water. There was also a spoil heap near the culvert. It was suggested that some ‘trampling’ in Tilleys Copse would help to manage the floor bed of the wood, and that proper control of dog waste was important. It was noted that parts of the path would benefit from an improved surface and drainage.
The matter of fencing was discussed and agreed that a simple post-and-wire fence and no entry signs would be appropriate for Zone 1 – Wilderness area, and that a ‘dead-hedge’ path suitable for the public right of way in Zone 2
Tilleys Copse. (REF: Wilderness and Tilleys Copse Woodland Zones aerial map 8 August 2018)
AGREED: (1) Investigations are made into the operation of the culvert and the existence of the spoil heap in Tilleys Copse. (2) A simple post-and-wire fence and no entry signs would be appropriate for Zone 1 – Wilderness area, and that a ‘dead-hedge’ path suitable for the public right of way in Zone 2 – Tilleys Copse.
HM18/15. Community Orchard: Further to the decision of the Board (meeting 10 July 2019 Minute: HM18/06) for the layout of the orchard, Royal Horticultural Society specialist Martin Sadler attended the meeting to update the Board on the plans. Mr Sadler outlined his past experience, having lived in Hurstpierpoint throughout his life, and was an agricultural chartered surveyor in his working life. He was currently a member of the Fruit Group of the RHS. His strong interest in apple varieties had led him to source 40 types from across Sussex for planting in the new orchard, including former Hurstpierpoint varieties. Mr Sadler had worked with the Council’s Facilities Manager to draw up a specification for the planting of the orchard, including a temporary protection fence as well as spiral protectors. The planting was planned for February/March 2019 and would require 2 to 3 years pruning, after which the trees would be largely selfregulating. The matter of ground preparation and dock control was discussed, as was the issue of watering for the first two years. It was agreed that wherever possible volunteers would be deployed for watering, but that the Council would need to ensure that there was water on site.
The Chairman thanked Martin Sadler for his hard work and commitment to the project.
HM18/16. Hurst Meadows Progress Report No 8: The Board noted the Progress Report. The Clerk advised that the transfer of the land comprising the woodland (Wilderness and Tilleys Copse) was to be transferred to the Council imminently with part of the commuted sum, being about £74,000. (REF: Parkland Progress Report 11 October 2018).
HM18/17. Graphic Design of ‘Hurst Meadows’: The Board noted the updated graphic map of Hurst Meadows.
It is intended that this map will be used for the permanent notice/interpretation boards, the website and possibly an app. (REF: Graphic map of Hurst Meadows – November 2018 )
HM18/18. Marchants Close access: The Board considered the designs for the pedestrian access from Marchants
Close to make a RECOMMENDATION to the Parish Council. This updated layout and detail followed input from the Planning Authority Tree Officer regarding the treatment of the ancient woodland. It was noted that, following the decision of the Management Committee, the kissing-gates at each end were to be removed. It was intended that the process would be for adoption by the Parish Council, followed by a local public consultation, followed by a planning application if required by the Planning Authority. It was intended that the construction would take place later in 2019. In discussion the Board noted that the construction would be by ‘no-dig’ method to minimise disruption of the ground in the woodland, and the design was similarly such that there would be minimal impact on the woodland floor. The matter of the life of the structure was noted, and a suggestion made that a hardwood construction was considered. It was also noted that Hurstpierpoint Society were very supportive of the proposal. The Board agreed that the design and construction was right, both visually and environmentally, and would be recommended for implementation. (REF:
Marchants Close boardwalk access design – PJC 2018 )
AGREED: The Board RECOMMEND to COUNCIL that the Marchants Road access proposals are adopted, and to proceed with public consultation and if required a planning application.
HM18/19. Buckwilly Field planting: The Board considered the proposals for new planting in the Field and noted the BRIEFING NOTE and layout plans. The concerns of some residents in the new Layton Fields development were reported, noting that they were concerned that their views out of their properties would be interrupted by the planting. It was noted that the Parish Council was keen to act as ‘good neighbour’ and would wish to find a compromise if possible. Discussion took place and the Board agreed that a planting scheme was necessary, both for planning and environmental reasons, and to properly screen the new development from views form the Meadows and the College Lane Conservation Area. It was also agreed that continuous hedgerow was important from both an aesthetic and habitat aspect, and that it should be used to partly screen the development boundary and to nurture flora and fauna. It was noted that any planting would take several years to mature, during which time planting within the private gardens would also mature After discussion it was agreed that the proposed plan for the trees was accepted, but that a continuous hedgerow should be provided, but with sections that would be kept to below 1m in height. The Council’s Meadows Management Plan would include provision for regular trimming. (REF: BRIEFING NOTE: Buckwilly Field planting 14 November 2018 ).
AGREED: The Board RECOMMENDS to the Hurst Meadows Management Committee that the new planting proposals for Buckwilly Field (14 November 2018 v2) are adopted, except that the hedgerow should be continuous, but with sections kept below 1m in height to enable some views out from the development.
HM18/20. Hurst Meadows Walkabout – 1 January 2019: Further to the discussion as the previous meeting of the Board (Minute HM18/04) it was proposed that a family ‘walkabout’ is planned for New Years Day 2019. All Board members and Parish Councillors would be invited to participate, with some members leading small groups. Maps would be available, showing routes and items of particular interest. The event would be noted in the December issue of Hurst
Life, and posters placed on the Council’s noticeboards. The Board is asked to support these arrangements. AGREED: The New Years Day 2019 ‘walkabout’ is adopted.
HM18/21. Management Plan : The Board was asked to approve the Management Plan for the routine annual maintenance of the meadows and woodland. This Plan had been produced following inputs from some members of the Advisory Board, with particular skills in the conservation and management of hedgerows, grassed areas and woodland. It was expected that the Plan would be revised from time to time, as additional planting takes place and as some existing habitats mature and develop. (REF: Hurst Meadows Management Plan 2018 – November 2018 )
AGREED: The Board RECOMMENDS to the Hurst Meadows Management Committee approval of the Hurst Meadows Management Plan (2018).
HM18/22. Questions: The following matters were raised:
- (1) Volunteers: the use of volunteers on a regular basis was discussed and it was agreed that in due course a system would be put in place.
- (2) Footpath: The matter of the footpath connection from the NE corner of Buckwilly Field was raised and it was noted that this remained an objective.
- (3) Latchetts Lane: the connection from Primrose Cottage north to College Lane was a public right-of-way but required considerable improvements if it was to be properly used. It was noted that Parish Cllr Llewellyn was in discussion with the WSCC ROW ranger regarding this matter, but the Council was not currently engaged on pursuing the issue.
- (4) Seating: it was agreed that rustic style seating would be considered in discreet locations.
There being no other business the meeting closed 9.30 pm.
Dist: cc: Parish Council Members
Parish Council Special groups representatives Members of the public representatives
Stephen Hand Patrick Howarth (Hurstpierpoint Society) Donna Willis
David Evans Michael Nailard (Woodland Flora + Fauna Group ) Helen Brangwyn
Amanda Geel David Brown (St Georges Millennium Garden ) Adrien Bischoff-Dyson
Stephen Hoyles (Clerk) Tony Whitbread (Sussex Wildlife Trust ) Rachel Felton
Steve Whitehead John Wilkinson (Mid Sussex District Council Georgina Judd