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Rotherfield charity wins funding to benefit the whole community

Rotherfield Millennium Green Trust has been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of almost £10,000 to examine the history of traditional grazing meadows in the Weald and why sites like the Millennium Green are of special significance and important to conserve.

Involving children from Rotherfield Primary School, along with volunteers from the local community, Meadows in the Weald is an oral history project that offers opportunities for students to work with experts and adult volunteers to gather real life stories which will contribute to the historical archive of the Green and East Sussex Records Office. It is also planned to develop a volunteering programme to work within the Green, together with a Junior Members Club to get younger people involved in the Green’s conservation.

Those participating will have the opportunity to visit the Beech Estate at Ashburnham (one of the largest surviving tracts of ancient meadow in the South East), learn about native fauna and flora and join in workshops in school and on the Green. Volunteers will also be able to help with research, learn oral history skills or to share their memories so that children can hear about their experiences directly. Information assembled will be published in a booklet and displayed in a community exhibition and open day later this year.

Peter Davidson Smith, Chairman of the Rotherfield Millennium Green Board of Trustees, said: The Green is a rare example of an ancient and traditional grazing landscape in the Sussex Weald and we are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us the opportunity to involve the whole community in learning and sharing about this amazing resource on our doorstep.

Helping the Green with the project is local charity, Life Wisdoms, who support schools with educational projects, but importantly, they are also appealing for people to come forward and volunteer on the project either by helping with research or sharing their memories. Do you or did you live in or near Rotherfield and have memories of visiting the Green, perhaps you played on it as a child, or family members were farmers who worked the land or grazed cattle on a similar landscape? Do you have photographs of the Green or documents that could contribute to the research archive? Do you have knowledge of farming methods in the Weald in general? Perhaps you are keen on conservation, habitats, geology, history or research or are interested in learning conservation skills or interviewing skills? Would you like to help preserve this unique landscape for generations to come?

It doesn’t matter whether you are from Rotherfield or the wider community, this is an interesting and stimulating project that provides opportunities for volunteers to get involved in various ways. If you?d like to find out more or have memories to share, please get in touch with Ruth Maddison on 01825 89109401825 891094 or Richard Mann on 01892 85247001892 852470.



At this time of the year you don’t have to have grown up in the countryside to know that you need to take special care when walking through fields and woodlands. Footpaths, especially those as well used as ours on the Green, can be become extremely muddy and slippery.

Please make sure that you are wearing appropriate outdoor footwear and take a stick or walking pole with you when you go through our fields, whether on pathways or not.

Our village Millennium Green is not meant to to be a finely manicured area of parkland; as far as possible it is deliberately left in its natural state and in winter rain and snow, as a walker, you will need to prepare for such conditions.



The Trustees are looking for Wardens. These are local residents who regularly walk on the Green and can report any problems they see to the Warden Coordinator Roger Billingham. If anyone is interested in becoming a warden, please contact Roger on 01892 852862, and he will give you all the details about what is involved.

Work parties are held on the first Sunday in the month and we are always looking for volunteers to help to keep the Green a safe and tidy area for residents and wildlife alike. If you would like to help for an hour or two and join a work party then please join us at 10.00am at the Station Road entrance.



Reptile relocation begins on the Millennium Green on the 17th May and will continue until the development site from where they originate has been cleared. You will have noticed piles of logs on the Green and these are the new hibernacular for the slow worms and the lizards. The transfer of the reptiles is being undertaken by Lloydbore a company specialising in landscape and ecology projects.

The hibernacular will be a permanent feature on the green for the foreseeable future and we would ask users of the Green not to disturb the piles of logs so that the reptiles can settle into their new homes.



Wealden District Council Grant

The Trustees of the Millennium Green would like to thank Wealden District Council for the grant we have received from them amounting to £1,635. The money will go towards the cost of re-fencing parts of the Green which are in urgent need of repair and replacement. The cost of maintaining the pathways and fencing increases year by year and grants such as this go a long way to easing the financial burden placed upon us in order to maintain the Green for the benefit of visitors and residents alike.

Improvement to Pathways


Constructing the new boardwalk

Visitors to the Millennium Green will have noticed recently that the approach from the permissive pathway starting in New Road got extremely muddy just after the beginning of the boardwalk. On Wednesday last, the 13th February, Trustees and volunteers extended the boardwalk almost to the entrance to the Green. It will now make this part of the permissive pathway easily negotiable without getting ankle deep in mud!

The permissive pathway runs through land owned by J.H. & F.W Green Ltd and the Trustees would like to thank them for allowing us to construct the boardwalk extension. The Trustees would also like to thank the volunteers who helped with the project and the Friends of the Millennium Green whose annual subscriptions help us to fund improvements such as this.

£500 Parish Council Grant

The Trust has recently received a grant of £500 from Rotherfield Parish Council which will be used towards the provision of two new notice boards for the Green and the replacement of post and rail fencing and gate posts. This grant will assist enormously in helping the Trustees with the ever present need to maintain the Green for local residents and visitors alike.

The Trustees would like to express their grateful thanks to the members of the Rotherfield Parish Council for their generosity in providing the grant to us.

2nd January 2012