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The footpath to be reopened in November is 379a, while the lower paths 364a and 417 will remain closed (image: OS).

One closed Country Park footpath to be reopened

One of the public footpaths in Hastings Country Park which has been closed for several years because of landslips in Ecclesbourne Glen is to be reopened in November, says East Sussex County Council. Nick Terdre reports.

The public footpath, which runs from East Hill along the top of Ecclesbourne Glen towards Barley Lane, is one of two which have been closed for safety reasons following landslips in Ecclesbourne Glen in 2013-16.

“There has been no significant movement of the land since that period and officers from the county council and Hastings Borough Council met recently and agreed that the situation was sufficiently stable to allow one of the affected paths to be reopened,” ESCC says in a statement.

“Assessment of the current stability of the land by geotechnical experts commissioned by Hastings Borough Council suggests that the landslip activity is suspended.  However, the path will be subject to continued monitoring as the area has seen lower than average levels of rainfall in the years since the landslips and heavy rainfall could retrigger movement. ”

Barrier on the east side of Ecclesbourne Glen.

Barrier on the east side of Ecclesbourne Glen.

The lower path, which leads to the bottom of the glen from East Hill, will remain closed for the time being.  “The path runs immediately below the main area of landslip and it will need to remain closed until there is more certainty about the stability of the slope,” the county council says.

Despite suspicions that the landslips may have been caused by unauthorised construction works in Rocklands caravan park to the north of the glen, HBC has refused Freedom of Information requests to publish the second report by geotechnical company Coffey which is believed to throw light on this matter.

Good news and bad news

“There’s good news and there’s bad news about the paths through Hastings Country Park closed by East Sussex CC since the landslip below the Rocklands caravan park as far back as 2013,”commented the Friends of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve.

“The good news is that they have decided to reopen the path just below the caravan park. This is a step forward.

“But County has extended the closure on the actual coast path in this area for another six months on the grounds of safety. What are they expecting, a volcanic eruption? Difficult to know because there doesn’t seem to have been a proper risk assessment. Nor has there been a cost-benefit analysis for the cost of reinstatement vs the public benefits for hikers and tourists.

“This point is particularly relevant because the stretch of path which is to remain closed is the natural line for the England Coast Path which is due to pass through the Country Park. If the closure remains, walkers on this national path will have to do an inconvenient dog-leg inland.

“We will return to this fight in the spring when the new closure order expires.”


Posted 18:27 Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019 In: Home Ground

1 Comment

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  1. Ms.Doubtfire

    The Friends of the Country Park comment that the main path will not be re-opened…and they further comment on the lack of any risk assessment to justify the continued closure nor any cost benefit analysis for the cost of reinstatement vs the public benefits for hikers and tourists.
    This council has consistently refused to make any comments on what caused this landslide and kept the technical reports relating to this disaster under wraps.
    They refuse to divulge any information on the matter. A most unsatisfactory situation. One has to ask why we are not allowed to see these reports..

    Comment by Ms.Doubtfire — Thursday, Oct 24, 2019 @ 10:08

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