Recently, East Grinstead Town Council, who own the East Court Mansion and the adjoining car parks, have implemented some more stringent parking restrictions.
Unfortunately this has had the knock-on effect of drivers starting to park their cars along the access road to the sports pavilion, which we own, but is leased to MSDC. The parked cars are not only spoiling the visual amenity value of the landscape, but are also ruining the grass and creating a hazard for legitimate users.
We are currently in discussions with various parties to try and resolve this issue without resorting to draconian measures.
Unfortunately it has recently proved necessary to install very heavy concrete barriers at the end of the road to the sports pavilion to prevent travellers causing further damage to East Court.
Whilst all are welcome to enjoy walking the open space and woods at East Court, driving vehicles and caravans over the park causes much damage and cannot be tolerated.
We hope that these measures will only be temporary.
One of our oldest oak trees recently lost a huge limb in high winds
The Pendunculate Oak is near the green shipping container on the estate road and when surveyed a few years ago, it was estimated to be 250 to 300 years old. It is listed on the Woodland Trust Ancient tree register.
The bough that fell is about 1m diameter at its base and the whole branch must weigh many tonnes. It’s a good job nobody was underneath it at the time!
MSDC do keep a look out for dangerous trees, but not surprisingly it’s not always possible to predict when this sort of event may occur.
In recent years there have been a number of instances when irresponsible joyriders have driven their cars across the grass at East Court, causing immense damage to the surface. In addition, a group of Travellers moved onto the Estate illegally earlier this year leaving much rubbish and hazardous waste behind them.
East Grinstead Memorial Estate has been discussing these problems with MSDC for some time now, and we are pleased to report that long-planned ditches and bunds have now been constructed alongside the main estate road. In addition, a number of tarmaced passing spaces have been created which should negate the need for drivers to go on the grass to pass other cars.
In addition, it’s hoped that the ditches will provide a wildlife corridor for species such as Great Crested Newts, to move safely across the open spaces.
MSDC has recently completed work near the football fields to resolve some of the drainage problems that have been experienced.
It seemed that the original underground drainage pipes that dealt with the overflow from the Lake and surrounding areas, had become blocked, and during and after rainfall, water was backing up in nearby ditches and grassy areas.
The new system that has been installed should ensure good flow rates under all conditions, directing the water away to the stream that runs along the south-east boundary of the estate, and eventually on into the River Medway.
Earlier this week some Travellers moved onto the East Court playing fields without authorisation. Our land is open to all members of the public to enjoy 365 days a year, but it isn’t acceptable for one group to unilaterally take it upon themselves to take over part of our land.
We are in discussions with the Council about how to normalise the situation.
75 years ago today, on 9th July 1943, 108 people lost their lives in the tragic bombing of the Whitehall cinema in London Road. A memorial stands in Mount Noddy cemetery to 22 of the victims buried there.
Read more about the incident on our history page.
Work has recently been carried out by our tenant, MSDC, to thin out a stand of Beeches up near the East Court Mansion.
The management plan, drawn up by an ecologist, recommended thinning this group of trees. The benefits being to enhance the ecosystem for insects as well as being good Arboricultural practice, opening up the canopy and increasing air flow. MSDC’s arboriculturist carefully chose specific trees for removal that will free up growing space for neighbouring trees to encourage growth through the mature, to veteran, and hopefully one day, ancient life, stage.
A neighbour reported a dangerous tree to MSDC over the weekend, and despite being “out of hours”, the path was soon closed and MSDC’s contractors alerted to come out and resolve the problem.
On 19th April, Chris Nunn, the Chairman of East Grinstead Memorial Estate Ltd, handed over some of our archives to East Grinstead Museum, for them to hold in perpetuity and make available for general viewing or research.
The documents included the Minute Book dating from 1949 to the 1970’s, and a CD containing scanned copies of thousands of documents from the mid 1940’s up until the year 2000 or so. The process of scanning has condensed the 2 metre high pile of paper onto a single CD with all documents in pdf searchable format.
An additional copy of the CD will be lodged at West Sussex Record Office in Chichester.