Two district nature reserves fly the flag for being among the UK’s top green spaces

Two nature reserves in Lewes district have again been awarded Green Flag status for being among the top green spaces in the country.

This marks the ninth year the Railway Land in Lewes has received the accolade while it is the eighth year running for Castle Hill in Newhaven.

Green Flags recognise green spaces that have the highest possible environmental standards, are well maintained and a pleasure to visit.

Councillor Isabelle Linington, Cabinet Lead for Environmental Impact at Lewes District Council, said: “We are delighted to have yet again received Green Flag awards for these two wonderful nature reserves which are popular with residents and visitors alike.

“These awards are testament to the dedication of volunteers and local groups who work alongside our community rangers to maintain these green areas to such a high standard.

“The Railway Land and Castle Hill are valuable green spaces in the urban environment and we are proud of ensuring good public access to these spots where biodiversity thrives.”

The Railway Land in central Lewes boasts a number of rich habitats including reedbed ponds and a wet woodland, which people can visit to observe the thriving wildlife. The Railway Land Wildlife Trust holds regular events there including festivals, guided walks and special guest talks at the Linklater Pavilion.

Castle Hill Nature Reserve is one of the most prominent locations in Newhaven and its cliff top provides stunning views in all directions. It is home to a vast array of wildlife including the whitethroat and lesser whitethroat birds which fly from Africa to spend the summer here.

The Castle Hill Group boasts a number of dedicated local naturalists who monitor and record the species there as well as carrying out practical work looking after the site, raising money and leading nature walks. Gun emplacements provide some of the last remaining evidence of the importance of this site for human activity and settlement since at least the Bronze Age.

International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme. 
“Each flag is a celebration of the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. The success of the scheme, especially in these challenging times, demonstrates just how much parks matter to people."

Story published on 27 July 2017