Action by the society’s Local Correspondent, Chris Smith, has resulted in more land at Breaky Bottom Vineyard, Sussex being opened to the public. The society objected to an order which would have continued the restriction. As a result part of the land has been made available for public access.
The public access area is shown in yellow/brown on the map below. But the area shown in red is still closed to the public. This is because there is a small pit on the site. The South Downs National Park says that this is dangerous, even though there are many cliffs and pits in the area where there is public access. They say that they will reinstate access if the landowner will agree to the top of the pit being fenced. But the owner of Breaky Bottom will not agree to this, even if the National Park pays for the fencing, although there is already a lot of fencing on the site.
Chris Smith says “This highlights the problems that we have in protecting public rights of access in the South Downs. However we will keep campaigning on this issue until the whole site is open. We are investigating whether or not action can be taken under the Mines Act.”
For further information contact Chris Smith, OSS Brighton and Lewes correspondent on 01273 483869 or by email.