For some people the Park is the
jewel in Horsham's crown - but many towns this size
have parks. How many are blessed with open
countryside less than five minutes' walk from the town
centre? Chesworth Farm is one of our most precious
amenities, yet over the years it has been threatened
by developments ranging from football pitches to
Chesworth has been owned by Horsham
District Council since 1991 and fulfils many roles: as
well as being a low-key nature reserve it is used by
walkers, dog walkers, riders, cyclists and anyone who
appreciates a piece of countryside so close to town.
A local farmer's cattle graze on the fields in summer,
and this year they have been joined by sheep and
llamas. Chesworth is also home to a Parks
Department depot and the workshops of an artists'
group. It is criss-crossed with footpaths &
bridleways, and Peddlers Way (Horsham-Southwater cycle
route) runs through it.
Muggeridges Field, just south of
Athelstan Way, is the property of West Sussex County
Council, but is managed by HDC and is effectively part
of Chesworth. Now WSCC have put in an outline
planning application for housing on the field.
We have made a formal objection to this, which can be
and you should also read
chairman David Moore's WSCT article, which explains the background and the implications of threatened development.
We have to ensure that Chesworth
Farm doesn't become a prime building site at
some future time, and to help achieve this we have
been working with Forest Neighbourhood Council
and Horsham District Council with a view to
setting up a Friends of Chesworth organisation.
A preliminary meeting on 11 April
was a resounding success, with over a hundred
applications to join and enough volunteers for a
strong committee. If you're interested in
becoming a member,
David Moore will be pleased to hear from you.
Restoration of Chesworth Barn»
Walk: Denne Hill & Chesworth Farm»