Copthorne’s Green Boundary
The recent government announcements of new “healthy” towns incorporating significant amounts of green spaces, highlights and emphasises the importance which the government attaches to the provision of healthy space within and adjacent to residential development.
Copthorne’s identity is defined not only by its separation from neighbouring settlements but also by its surrounding “green” ring and “green lungs” within the village itself.
The green ring has been somewhat compromised by the outline planning permission granted to the site between the western village boundary and the M23 (the Heathy Ground site). However, the applicant’s plans do provide for a substantial tree barrier to be retained between the M23 and the development and between the A264 and the development as well as the retention of all the areas of ancient woodland on the Heathy Ground site. It is vitally important that these tree barriers are constructed / retained to continue to shelter the village from the motorway and Crawley generated pollution borne on the prevailing south-west winds as well as the noise pollution from both the M23 and A264 (the applicant’s own measurements acknowledge noise levels exceed British Standards limits and that “windows will need to be closed for dwellings fronting the M23, A264 and Shipley Bridge Lane”). As excess noise is known to be particularly harmful to the health of children, the elderly and those with heart problems, these green (tree) corridors are a vital component of Copthorne’s green boundary.
The northern village boundary follows the county boundary, to the north of which is all Green Belt land (almost wholly open countryside) in the Tandridge District of Surrey.
At the eastern boundary of the Lashmere estate, this northern portion of the green ring meets a substantial area of woodland, on Common land, which defines the eastern element of the ring. This links, across the A264, with the Upper Copthorne Common, containing the historic prizefighting ring (still identifiable as a clearing in the woods).
Moving westwards, the land south of the A264, is almost wholly Copthorne Common, accommodating the majority of Copthorne Golf Club’s holes as well as significant public rights of way. The portion of the Golf Club land to the north of the A264, serves as a green lung for the village. To the west of this Golf Club land south of the A264 is Woodman’s Farm and then Copthorne Wood, wrapping around the south of the Copthorne Hotel to Pot Common and via the Public Right of Way across the A2220 and the A264 linked to the Heathy Ground site.
This green ring echoes the historic ring of woodland, heaths and spinneys around Copthorne (as it grew from a clearing in one of the remotest parts of Ashdown Forest), comprising Heathy Ground Wood to the west, Muggins Wood to the north, Thorney Park Wood to the east and the Coombers, Copthorne, Hourglass and Drivers woods to the south. Both the current need for healthy green space and the obligation to retain the historic green ring make the protection of these tracts a vital component of the Copthorne identity.
A wildlife volunteer
This article has been sent in by 19 year old Lily Evans who lives in Copthorne and volunteers for the Wildlife A&E centre based in Crowborough. Their aim is to save British wildlife in the Sussex, Surrey & Kent area.
Since starting my student nurse training at Forest Lodge Veterinary Centre I met Debbie who runs Wildlife A&E and slowly started offering to help and look after baby birds. I want to be a veterinary nurse because of my love for animals and that is the reason I was so interested in helping with the wildlife too. Having to go to college one day a week makes it quite hard to help all the time as I have to make sure I’m not looking after anything when at college, but any other time I always offer to help. So far I have had many birds such as pigeons and robins, squirrel and a rabbit. I enjoy helping with the stalls at shows to raise money when I’m off work.
Local non-profit organisation wildlife A&E rescue and aid injured or vulnerable wildlife. Any wild animal, any reason, they will do their best to help them and aim to return them back into their natural habitat. They care for badgers, foxes, rabbits, hedgehogs, rodents, reptiles and a huge variety of birds from owls to pigeons. From February there are a huge amount of baby animals needing care and often lots of birds are found without their parents.
There have been a few deer fawns that have been caught in fences resulting in some severely injured hind legs. The vet managed to successfully amputate the injured legs and they have managed to thrive on three legs back in the wild. A buzzard recently came in with a broken leg which was confirmed by X-rays and the vet managed to operate inserting a pin to fix the break. After a bit of TLC in an aviary he has been using the leg so well that he has been released and flew off beautifully.
At Wildlife A&E there are some amazing volunteers with a huge amount of experience and passion for wildlife who give up their time to help the wildlife in need. There is a dedicated veterinary centre with a vet who has given expert advice on a variety of the animals found and given treatment to any that are injured. As a non-profit organisation it only manages to buy the equipment and supplies to care for these helpless animals when people donate. You may often see their stall at local shows selling items to raise money. They are currently saving for a new care and treatment cabin to keep the wildlife in their care safe and make treatment easier.
If you ever find any wildlife you think may be in trouble and need help you can call Debbie on: 07709 574665
by Jennie Horsman
Beneath arched arms of shaded trees
Late evening hangs its dusky veils
And Summer breathes across warmed walls
Where ivy runs its darkened trails.
Abroad from barns and ageing tiles
Bats weave a fast elastic flight,
They flaunt their fancy trickery
Beyond a screen of steely light
As fading soft sleeved boughs unite
And roosting birds in eves confide,
Last faint searching squeaks are heard
Then bats and night collide.
On the subject of bats, look out for the Serotine bat, one of Britain’s less common species, occurring almost exclusively in the South East of England. It is one of the largest bat species (58mm – 80mm) and usually one of the first to appear in the evening. The Bat Conservation Trust has lots of info that you can download at www.bats.org.uk