Country Park Leaflet
Crowborough Country Park is a 16 acre Local Nature Reserve set in the Jarvis Brook. See Map
What can you see and do there?
It is the perfect place for a peaceful walk or a family picnic. An undulating circular stone track meanders through the site amongst tall trees, ponds and a picnic area. The deep rocky gorge is a main feature of the site.
A diverse mosaic of habitats are present in the park including dry and wet woodland, remnant ancient coppice, wet marshy areas, streams, grassy and heathy glades, ponds, rock outcrops & slippages. The main stream on site runs through a steep rocky gorge before flowing through areas of ancient hazel and ash coppice and there is also a carpet of bluebells in the spring. These habitats form homes for a wide variety of flora and fauna including the nationally rare moss Discelium nudum.
The history of the park
The park started life as a clay quarry serving the Crowborough Brickworks that closed in 1980. Evidence of its industrial past can still be seen by the interesting topography on the site. The site of the brickworks was developed into Farningham Road industrial estate and housing in the area of Osborne Road.
For nearly 30 years the quarry was left to natural regeneration and local people used it for informal play, with stories of swimming in the ponds and losing Wellington boots in the wet areas of the site. In 2008 Crowborough Town Council acquired the site with the intention of developing it for use by the Public for informal recreation and also to enhance the site's biodiversity.
An ecological survey was commissioned in order to produce a Site Management Plan for use by the newly appointed Ranger, Emma Newman. Emma's role was initially to manage the site for conservation and public amenity, raise funds to support the project and involve local people, thereby ensuring their ownership of the site.
In 2008 work began in the Country Park with a stone track and bridges installed. The site was declared a Local Nature Reserve in 2009 ensuring the future management of the site for the benefit of the wildlife and for people to enjoy quiet recreation.
During 2009 £40,000 was raised through grants from The Forestry Commission's English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) and SITA to support the development of the park which resulted in new benches, interpretation boards, a circular way-marked trail, a new leaflet, creation of a new pond and a pond-dipping platform.
Many volunteers from The Friends of Crowborough Country Park gave their time on conservation projects, including a two week project in collaboration with The Prince's Trust and Beacon College where 16 – 25 year olds were taught how to fell trees with bow saws. Numerous guided walks, children's events, PowerPoint presentations and cultural events were also held.
As the main development of the site was completed in 2010, so the site entered a maintenance phase and the Ranger began work on other sites in town: The Friends of Crowborough Country Park evolved to become Crowborough Conservation, changing their name and their remit to support not only the Country Park but also other natural sites in the vicinity of Crowborough.
Threats to the site
The most obvious threat to the site is loss of connectivity with other habitats. Adjacent land is being developed removing the habitat linkages that enable populations of wildlife such as Badgers to survive in the long term.