About The Egrets Way


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 secretary@ovcn.org.uk 

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 secretary@ovcn.org.uk

OVCN Secretary

Susan Thompson 

01273 477070 


OVCN Committee

Neville Harrison (Chair)

Wendy Brewer (Vice Chair)

Susan Thompson (Secretary)

Mick Long (Treasurer)

John Parry

Zara Luxford

Barbara Dart

Steve St Clair

Julie Carr

Alex Wolfson

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:

 Communications

 Community consultation

 Routes

 Funding.

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

steering group.

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. 

OVCN Secretary

Susan Thompson

01273 477070 




Sussex Countryside Awards 2017

Organised by CPRE Sussex – the Sussex branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England - the award ceremony was held in the magnificent Petworth House on Wednesday, October 11th .

The Egrets Way Project was a Full Award winner in the Rural Enterprise category. The judges describe the project as ‘an inspirational community project … the result of much integrated work to obtain planning permissions, landowner consents and outside funding’

Lady Egremont presented the award of a Plaque and a Certificate to Susan Thompson and Neville Harrison, ‘It is an absolute thrill to win an award,’ said Neville, Chairman of the Egrets Way project, ‘and a real boost to the project that will surely help us to find the funds to enable us to complete the path’s missing sections between Lewes and Newhaven’

Latest Activity

Susan Thompson posted photos
Nov 26
Susan Thompson posted a blog post

New EW signs

‘On Saturday 18th November, Chairman Neville Harrison and committee member John Parry put up signs at the Northern start of the Egrets Way in Ham Lane as well as a reminder to cyclists at the current end of this section that permission is not granted to ride a bicycle along the top of the flood bank. The EW Committee continues to work at securing the funds necessary to join up the existing sections of the Egrets way that have already been completed.  Similar notices have also been erected at…See More
Nov 26
Andy Lock replied to warren wadsworth's discussion Progress
"The wider footpath would not have narrowed the C7. The plans were to move the carriageway east (away from the houses) where there is land available, AND widen it! There was also the intent to reduce the speed limit, pending consultation. Because it…"
Oct 30
Barrie Minney replied to warren wadsworth's discussion Progress
"As a new resident in Piddinghoe (moved from Lewes) I can see why the residents don't want cyclists bombing through the narrow streets. The newly laid footpath at the edge of the Hoe is already being used by cyclists at speed. My own suggestion…"
Oct 28

Blog Posts

New EW signs

Posted by Susan Thompson on November 26, 2017 at 23:22 0 Comments

‘On Saturday 18th November, Chairman Neville Harrison and committee member John Parry put up signs at the Northern start of the Egrets Way in Ham Lane as well as a reminder to cyclists at the current end of this section that permission is not granted to ride a bicycle along the top of the flood bank. 

The EW Committee continues to work at securing the funds necessary to join up the existing sections of the Egrets way that have already been completed.  Similar notices have…


A welcome addition to the Egrets Way

Posted by Susan Thompson on August 20, 2017 at 20:23 0 Comments

A Welcome addition to the Egrets Way

Following on from the planning approval for holiday Lodges at Swanborough Lakes is a proposal to create new off-road multi-user paths which, going east, will connect the lodges to the Egrets Way at Spring Barn Farm, and going to the west, to the South Downs Way via Swanborough village.  

This is great news for everyone and we urge you to look at the planning application on the SDNPA web-site (…


New Egrets Way Maps

Posted by Susan Thompson on August 23, 2016 at 19:42 0 Comments

New maps showing new, existing and proposed sections of the Egrets Way can be found here:

EGRETS WAY MAP Northern.pdf…


New Egrets Way Signposting

Posted by Susan Thompson on June 19, 2016 at 21:00 0 Comments

Thanks to Jan Knowlson and the SDNP Rangers who have recently installed new Egrets Way signage at  Dean's Farm.…





Started by warren wadsworth. Last reply by Andy Lock Oct 30. 7 Replies

I note a lot of interest in using the Egrets Way as a leisure facility and rightly so, however i remain hopeful this will become a regulate daily work commute between Seaford and Lewes as currently using either the C7 or the A26 is a very dangerous…Continue

Mobility Scooter user

Started by Roy Neeve. Last reply by Andy Lock Nov 10, 2015. 10 Replies

Hi thereHas anyone found any access to Egrets Way from Newhaven please?Continue

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