This makeshift camp has appeared in Ashplats Wood in the last few days. No doubt some children have been having a bit of fun in the great outdoors. It looks like they’ve been using fallen branches and have taken their rubbish home with them, so haven’t done any damage to this beautiful Ancient Woodland.
It’s good to see the woods being enjoyed like this, and let’s hope they have some lasting memories of their fun.
We were delighted to welcome more than 60 of our immediate neighbours to a meeting at East Court Manor on the evening off 6th June. For a long time our Company has kept quite a low profile, and we felt it was important to introduce ourselves to our neighbours and to hear what they had to say.
Chris Nunn, our Chairman, gave a short presentation about the Companies history and what it is that we do. He then introduced the Landscape Manager form Mid Sussex District Council, our tenants who manage the Estate on our behalf.
As many of us know, living next door to an Ancient woodland can at the same time be both delightful and frustrating. This meeting though gave a good opportunity to discuss some of the issues and we hope that this dialogue can be continued into the future.
Members of our Company gathered together at Chequer Mead in East Grinstead on the evening of 25th May for our Annual General Meeting. As well as the normal business, two Special Resolutions were put before the Members.
For many years there has been a lot of confusion about what it is that our Company does. Not surprisingly, many people thought that we looked after either the War Memorial in the High Street, or the one in the grounds of East Court. Well, actually we don’t manage either of these two, but what we do own and manage is the major part of the magnificent East Court Estate.
To better describe what our Company does, it was therefore proposed at the AGM that the name of the Company be changed from East Grinstead War Memorial Ltd, to East Grinstead Memorial Estate Ltd, and this was overwhelmingly endorsed by our Members.
Whilst geared up for bringing our Company bang up to date we decided to also tackle our rather antiquated Memorandum and Articles of Association, the document which governs how our Company is run. A totally new version, based on the Government model in the Companies Act 2006, was approved by the Members at the AGM. These can be viewed by clicking the link below:
Around 60 volunteers of all ages came along on a sunny Sunday morning on April 9th to help with the Big Tidy Up at East Court, organised by Ashplats Conservation Group. Hundreds of cans, bottles and empty crisp packets were collected, along with a supermarket trolley and a microwave cooker! This annual event is just one of those that ACG organise throughout the year, helping to keep East Court in good order. ACG is supported with an annual grant from East Grinstead War Memorial Ltd
Following many months of discussion between East Grinstead War Memorial Ltd and Mid Sussex District Council, the Management Plan for the East Court Estate was signed off in December 2016. This Plan provides a framework for the management of the Estate over the next 10 years, and regulates which costs come out of which budget. You can view a copy on the MSDC website.
The Plan has started to come to life in March this year, as linear coppicing has now commenced along McIndoe Walk, around Rutland Meadow, and up the Ghyll steps (see photo). Whilst at first sight this may seem a destructive process, in fact it is designed, by rotation, to let more light into parts of the wood, thereby encouraging the growth of wild flowers and other flora. Some of the brash and timber will be removed, but most will be left to rot on the woodland floor to form habitats for bugs and other creatures. This process will be carried out every winter in different parts of the wood, allowing regeneration in turn.
EGWML has worked closely with MSDC to ensure the contractors work sympathetically with the woodland and minimising damage with any vehicles.
East Grinstead War Memorial works closely with local agencies to make Ashplats Wood as safe as possible for all people to enjoy. An example of this partnership in action is when the Company informed West Sussex County Council Highways & Transport Department of some dangerous fencing alongside the Sussex Border Path, which runs along the eastern boundary of the wood. WSCC took this matter up with the owner of the adjacent land, and as a result the barbed wire, which incidentally was at about the same height as a child’s eyes, has now been removed.
In glorious autumn sunshine, the Chairman and several members of East Grinstead War Memorial, joined together today to remember those from East Grinstead who gave their lives in the World Wars. The solomon event was attended by many hundreds of people and EGWML, along with many other local organisations, laid a wreath at the memorial in the High Street.
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them”
Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)
This autumn has seen a wonderful display of colours across the East Court Estate, apparently because of the wet spring, followed by a dry autumn. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to get out and enjoy natures wonderful display, but if you’ve haven’t seen it yet, it’ll probably last for a few weeks more, so don’t delay.
East Grinstead Target Shooting Club, who have been long term tenants of East Grinstead War Memorial Ltd on the East Court Estate, had some notable success at the recent National Small-bore Rifle Association annual meeting at Bisley in Surrey.
Pictured above is Malcolm Brain, an EGWML Member, who came eight in the British, and seventh in the English Championship. The day was marked by strong winds which made the shooting difficult, but this din’t stop Malcolm producing this very credible result.
You can find out more about East Grinstead Target Shooting Club at www.egtsc.co.uk
On a warm summers evening in early August, eight of the Council Members of EGWML went for a walkabout to see some of areas that we’d been discussing at various Council meetings. Quite a lot of discussion ensued about the Lake, and what might be done to restore it to it’s former glory, and also what might be done to improve some of the footpaths which weren’t included in the SANGS circular route.
Mid Sussex DC has the responsibility to maintain the Estate, whereas our discussions centred around what might be done to bring extra enhancements “above and beyond” to the party.