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Photo A Jobson

Photo A Jobson

East Hill Greenway walk to Fire Hills

Last Saturday, (1 June) local resident and artist, Amanda Jobson, walked the Hastings Greenway route through the East Hills. Here’s her account of the experience. 

I began the walk along the Hastings Greenway route on an extremely hot afternoon donning hat, sunglasses, sturdy trainers and carrying plenty of water. I’ve been making these walks as part of my own personal photographic survey of the country park over many years; one of my favourite places and with the coastal path still not improved, I was keen to find out the Hastings Greenway route, starting from the top of the East Hill lift.

Meeting at East Hill lift

Meeting at East Hill lift

The route goes across the East Hill to Rocklands Lane and onto Barley Lane. We met at the top of the East Hill Lift: around 35 people, some with dogs. Before we set off, we discussed the importance of a more accessible route with the Hastings Greenway group, maps were handed out and Michael Moor from Friends of Hastings Country Park shared the membership benefits of the country park including the nature walks and talks.

Julia Hilton from the Green Party raised her concerns on the groundwork needed to enable wheelchair users, disabled people and pram pushers access up to this beautiful nature reserve.

Health-giving nature

Health-giving nature

As studies confirm, two or three jaunts to woods and forests would improve our wellbeing, enhancing our mental and physical health. I felt it was definitely important to include everyone in the community picture, as being amongst the greenery of trees is always breathtaking: after all, it’s on our doorstep.

The route across the East Hill over grassland was pleasant and I enjoyed meeting new faces: there was Steve who lives in Hastings with his down-for-the-weekend girlfriend; they’d never taken these walks before. I met Fernando, a regular walker who talked about the beauty of the flora and fauna of the parkland and his own garden.

As we journeyed up along the path, we passed the Rocklands holiday camp and made our way upwards, meeting dog walkers and ramblers walking down and young cyclists using the same path, passing us by.

East Hills of Hastings

East Hills of Hastings

I could hear nature all around and new smells filling my senses. I felt exhilarated as we approached a large landscape of stones surrounded by wildflowers, ferns and tall foxgloves, the Warrenpoint Quarry, once a quarry used by the Fairlight mining company, who found important good quality sand. The sand was used for all sorts of industries back during war time – and even though the quarry closed during the 1950s, its remains are embedded in this diverse landscape.

I loved hearing these historical narratives particularly of the Lovers Stone near Warren Point on our return, where some of us rested for a drink and a recoup of the day.

The Lovers' Seat

The Lovers’ Seat

Apparently during the 1800’s, Elizabeth Boys (daughter of the high sheriff of Sussex) would meet with her lover, Charles Lamb of Rye on this slab of rock; they did eventually marry.

Meeting people and listening to a tiny bit of their lives was gratifying, especially amongst the inspirational green seascape views, I was part of a community of walkers, talkers, thinkers and nature lovers for the day.

I returned home in the evening, the sun still hot, feeling tired but exhilarated from this newly discovered landscape I had been part of, its natural terrain. It’s a special place which needs to keep being protected. I will always return here come rain or shine!

As Long As My Arm Exhibition
Showing From June 7th at The Dirty Old Gallery
West Street, TN34 3AN, Hastings.
Open Weekends 12- 5pm

As Long As My Arm is a collaborative art exhibition by Jilliene Sellner, Ian Land, Amanda Jobson, Sharon Haward and Adam Dando. The project explores the Harbour Arm as a starting point and reaches further to Hastings Country Park and beyond. With soundscape work, sculpture, photography and painting.
A book publication will be presented for the event and exhibition.

Posted 17:31 Wednesday, Jun 12, 2019 In: Nature

Also in: Nature

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