The project is to install a footbridge across the stream between newly accessible parkland north of the CEMEX quarry on Water Lane and Sandgate Park woods. Crossing the stream is difficult and dangerous as it involves negotiating steep, muddy banks as well as the stream which gets deep after rain . A safe crossing point is essential to allow people, of a wide range of physical abilities, to be able to safely cross from one park to the other and take advantage of the longer and more varied walks they offer together, as well as providing a new link to longer walks in the surrounding area. Also, the parkland area is particularly suited for use by parents with young children and persons with limited mobility as it has hard, well made, paths, and the bridge will enable easy walking access to the parkland from the east (from Badgers Holt and surrounding lanes) without having to drive and find parking near the Sandgate Lane/Water Lane entrance.
What we'll deliver:
- We will buy the materials to build the footbridge
- We will build a sturdy wooden footbridge mounted on concrete pads and with a steel substructure.
- We will create a safe crossing point across a steep banked stream.
- We will make the newly accessible parkland area easily accessible when approached from the eastern end.
- We will encourage volunteers from the local community to help build the bridge.
Why it's a great idea:
This project is a great idea because it removes a hazard to safety and a barrier to accessibility. Although purpose built paths have been installed in the newly accessible parkland, and these provide excellent walking facilities, the access path from Sandgate Park woods only leads down to a steep sided gully with a stream at the bottom. Linking the woods with the parkland with a safe footbridge provides a larger area of green space for the local community to use which is better than having two separate smaller areas as it provides better walks and more varied and interesting scenery. It will make the parks more of a destination and so encourage more local people to use them - perhaps avoiding driving to green spaces further away. It will not only open up walks across the two areas of park but also new circular walking routes in the wider area, such as with Sullington Warren in the west and Warren Hill in the east and so benefit a wider range and greater number of people.
Steps to get it done:
- Buy the materials
- Organise the volunteer workforce
- Build the bridge
This project will be a combined effort between the Society and Horsham District Council Parks & Countryside Department.
Together we will:
- source the materials;
- organise the volunteer workforce; and
- build the bridge.
HDC will take overall responsibility for the delivery of the bridge.
The new parkland was created as part of the planning consent for the Millford Grange and forms part of Phase 1 of the creation of Sandgate Country Park. The creation of a country park on old quarry land and adjacent green spaces, and an off-road footpath from Storrington to Washington to avoid the busy A283 have both been long held aspirations of the local councils and community. This footbridge facilitates these by providing a link between public green spaces and footpaths.
For over 40 years the volunteer workforce of Sandgate Conservation Society has supported Horsham District Council in maintaining Sandgate Park and this support has become increasingly important over time.