A wonderful sunny day on Saturday 24th September saw almost 100 people of all ages gather in Combe Haven valley for a ramble and picnic to celebrate its beauty – unbelievably and fortunately so close to two major towns.
Banners were raised as a reminder of a very real threat to the valley and its rich mix of plant and animal life. If constructed, the Bexhill to Hastings Link Road (BHLR) would destroy its remarkable tranquillity and degrade habitats and landscape. The road would carry up to 30,000 vehicles a day, shifting congestion around the towns.
Most of those who came walked into the valley from three starting points – Bexhill and Sidley, St Leonards, and Crowhurst. Transport was provided for those unable to walk. A dozen very well behaved dogs found the going easy.
The walk finished at Bynes Farm where farmers Ray and Laura Boggis greeted everyone before the picnic and live music began. Music was provided by popular local band the Cajun Dawgs.
Local poet Brian Moses read a poem inspired by the valley and dedicated to the campaign to save this wonderful asset for future generations to discover and enjoy. All children at the rally received a copy of the poem, beautifully illustrated by local artist Nigel Harvey.
The cost to public purse of the BHLR is officially £85m (£29m to be taken from East Sussex funds, the rest from government funds). Based on recent experience from recently completed similar schemes, costs are expected to increase by anything up to 13%.