Ouse Valley Cycle Network
Local people living in and around the lower Ouse Valley have set up the Ouse Valley Cycle Network (OVCN) to encourage the development of The Egrets Way - a network of multi-user routes in the Ouse valley for recreational and utility use.
Please sign up as a friend to the OVCN website to show support for the Egrets way project, join forum discussions, post blog comments or photos.
If you're already signed up to the OVCN website as a friend of The Egrets Way and would like to become a formal member of The Egrets Way Charity please email your name to firstname.lastname@example.org
Formal OVCN Membership requires that you agree with and support the aims of the OVCN Project (listed in the l/h panel) and that you become a Member at least 3 months before voting at an AGM.
Membership does not impose any obligations on you other than to continue to support our aims, so you can resign membership at any time. It does, however, ensure that we'll keep as well informed as possible about progress.
If you would like to become a formal OVCN member please contact email@example.com
Neville Harrison (Chair)
Wendy Brewer (Vice Chair)
Susan Thompson (Secretary)
Mick Long (Treasurer)
Steve St Clair
Registered Charity Number
Please sign up to our website to support the OVCN Egrets Way project.
1. To establish a network of safe cycle and walking routes linking Lewes, Newhaven and the villages of the Lower Ouse Valley for both recreational and utility use
2. To encourage sustainable and healthy life-styles by creating opportunities for cycling and walking with due regard to the environment
3. To promote routes which join up with other cycle and walking trails locally, nationally and internationally
4. To help support the development of a sustainable local economy, especially green tourism
5. To work with local parishes and communities, other interest groups and relevant public bodies
A network of interlinking cycle and walking routes within in the
Ouse Valley between Lewes and Newhaven including the parishes of Kingston, Swanborough, Iford, Northease & Rodmell, Southease, and Piddinghoe.
Trails that can be built up piece-meal from sections already in place; sections at an advanced stage of planning and sections
which can be created sharing existing footpaths; sections which
will require more investigation and formal infrastructure e.g. C7
Accepts most trails will be shared with other users
Accepts some will be predominately recreational; others utility
Accepts some will be seasonal or fair weather only
Accepts surfaces will vary according to stage of development,appropriateness to use and to the landscape
Following a number of open meetings over the last year, facilitated by South Downs National Park Officers, we now have in place an organisation with a Constitution and a Steering Committee.
We have set up four working groups exploring and advising on:
We plan to:
Build on the experience of an earlier attempt to create a safe route along the C7, Lewes to Newhaven road.
Work with our Parish, Town, District and County Councils;
local schools, community and interest groups; farmers,
landowners and businesses; the South Downs National Park
and other public bodies
To encourage the healthy and responsible enjoyment of this
beautiful area and its special landscape of river valley,
wetland pastures and chalk downland
To create a facility to promote better understanding of Living Landscapes using the trails for outreach work through organisations such as the Linklater Pavilion, Sussex Wildlife Trust and the South Downs National Park.
To invite individuals and groups in tune with our aims to sign up as supporters or contribute to a working group.
We are now a constituted organisation with officers and a
We are building on the experience of earlier attempts to create a safe route along the C7 Lewes-Newhaven road.
We have held a series of open public meetings during 2011
with help from South Downs National Park staff.
We have commissioned a Project Feasibility Study undertaken by Sustrans.
We accept that some trails will be more suited to recreational use.
Some may be seasonal or fair-weather only.
Surfaces will differ according to usage, stage of development
and landscape sensitivity.
We are working with our Parish and Town Councils, Lewes
District and East Sussex County Councils; the South Downs
National Park, The Environment Agency and other public
We are engaging with local schools, colleges, community
groups, farmers, landowners and local businesses.
We have been grant aided by the South Downs National
Park Sustainable Communities Fund to help with set-up costs
and are actively seeking further funding support.
Individuals and groups in line with our aims to sign up as supporters.
NEW PLANNING APPLICATION AND UPDATE
We have submitted a new Planning Application. Please follow the link below to SDNPA/17/SDNP/17/05291/FUL
This new application amends the original riverside route which was approved in June 2013.
At the Lewes end an additional section will extend the route from Ham Lane, across the field well-known as the site for the Cliffe Bonfire, and continue through the Railway Land Nature Reserve to finish at the Linklater Pavilion.
At the Newhaven end, the Egrets Way will go through Riverside Park and the recently enhanced wildlife area and then run below the riverbank to the Newhaven and Seaford Sailing Club Pond where, in a variation from the original plan, it will continue around the pond below the bank to Piddinghoe. In an agreement with Piddinghoe Parish Council the path will continue to follow the river with a short (200m) section using the footpath on top of the riverbank (where cyclists will have to dismount) and after the barn pinch-point will continue alongside the river until it meets The Street at the north end of Piddinghoe village.
The planning application can be viewed on the South Downs National Park web-site with reference SDNPA/17/SDNP/17/05291/FUL
This link will take you directly to it:
Our previous applications produced a large number of submissions in support and we hope many of our supporters will do so again. The closing date for submissions is Friday January 5th
Here are some other things that have been happening since with the project since our very successful AGM in June held at UTC Newhaven (University Technical College) located on Newhaven harbour in an imaginatively restored heritage building, a former railway workshop:
Fund raising. We have successfully raised £8000 funds needed to pay for the planning application including engineering drawings, ecology studies and heritage asset assessment. We have also begun the process of negotiating with a number of funding bodies for the much more substantial funds required to construct the remaining sections of path. Having planning approval for all sections is an important part of that process.
Award. In October The Egrets Way Project received a Rural Enterprise Countryside Award from CPRE Sussex. At a presentation ceremony at Petworth House we were presented with a Certificate and a Plaque which will be displayed on the route at Southease Bridge. This award was a great boost to the project and being in the Rural Enterprise category recognises that the Egrets Way can bring additional benefits to local businesses and tourism, and will be helping Newhaven to establish itself as a gateway from Europe to the South Downs National Park.
Swanborough Lodges. We are hopeful that a new section to the Egrets will be constructed as part of a planning approval for a number of holiday lodges at Swanborough lakes. This will extend the Egrets Way from the current path on the Spring Barn Farm corner to the Holiday Lodges, and then on to Swanborough village giving bridleway access to the South Downs Way.
Landowner engagement. We are having on-going discussions with a few remaining landowners to secure their formal consents for the path to cross their land and to join up the gaps that remain in the network.
Notices. We have put up notices at Ham Lane and Riverside Park Newhaven showing a plan of the proposed route and which parts are currently available for use by cyclists. In addition similar notices make it clear where cycling on the footpath is not permitted
Leaflet. We have updated our Egrets Way information leaflet to show the completed sections and proposed routes, although inevitably, some updates are already needed. This information can also be found on our website
We remain determined to complete the network so local people and visitors can make full use of the link between Newhaven and Lewes. We don't know when this will be achieved but, as al- ways, we are very aware that we would never have come this far without the support of our partner organisations, especially the South Downs National Park, and many others including the local communities, Parish, Town, District and County Councils, Sustrans, and the Environment Agency. And most importantly, we are grateful to the landowners (around twenty) who have been willing to allow us access to their land.
We know that many of our supporters want us to move faster to complete the project; we want to assure them that it will be done as quickly as access to the land and funding for construction allow.
Chair Egrets Way Project December 2017