Destruction of the Sussex Weald

The Low Weald Sussex is an area of beautiful and unspoilt countryside on Henfield’s north-eastern border.

Mayfield Market Town’s unsustainable proposal for a new town comprising between 7,000 and 10,000 houses will affect the local environment for thousands of acres beyond its footprint, damaging vital local habitats. A number of these habitats would qualify as Habitats of Principal Importance in England under Section 41 of the NERC Act (2006): ancient woodland; lowland mixed deciduous woodland; hedgerows; ponds; wet woodland (fragments) and coastal and floodplain grazing marsh.

Other important habitats include the rivers, streams and ditches. The River Adur bounds the north of the area with one tributary to the south of Sakeham Farm and the other, Chess Stream, through Morely Farm. They are very different in nature providing three very distinct habitats.

Please see our gallery of photos of this beautiful part of the Sussex countryside to get an idea of just how much is at risk.

The Low Weald Sussex is home to an array of listed species.

We have identified 96 species of birds within the proposed development area, which includes 21 Birds of Conservation Concern and 18 Red-listed species. Approximately 80% of species on the UK Farmland Bird Indicator list have been recorded in the area. This list is made up of 19 species that are dependent on farmland, and not able to thrive in other habitats. Species such as Yellowhammer (BoCC Red List) and Goldfinch have been seen in good numbers throughout the site. This part of Sussex along the Adur Valley from Woods Mill to Wineham is one of the county hot spots for Nightingales (BoCC Red List), with Sussex supporting 12.8% of the UK population.

We have identified 8 bat species; 19 rare species of butterflies; badgers; toads; slow worms; dormice and suitable habitats for populations of otters and water vole.

Mayfield Market Town will have tragic consequences for a site of vital ecological importance, both for Sussex and the UK as a whole.

Mayfield Market Town would blight the views from Devil’s Dyke; destroying the world famous lookout point.

John Constable’s “grandest view in the world” is of national importance. The lookout point brings in thousands of visitors each year and is the symbol of the Sussex countryside. Mayfields plan to build their development right in the middle of the views; destroying the landscape forever.

The development is likely to have a significant impact on both daytime and night-time views from the South Down National Park (SDNP), damaging the SDNP’s International Dark
Sky Reserve.

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