Welcome to Crowborough Common Community Website.
Crowborough Common is a beautiful area of undulating mature heathland, woodland and ghylls set close to one of the highest points in Sussex with spectacular views to the South Downs.
The common covers 222 acres.
When Earl De La Warr sold the common to the club in 1906 the public were given the right to roam the whole common for the taking of air and exercise, including the areas used for golf. 'One of the Earl's conditions of sale was that the public were not to be excluded from the area.' says Crowborough Beacon Golf Club.
This right is set out in several documents including the official history of the club published in 1994 (see crowboroughcommon.blogspot.co.uk) The right exists in perpetuity and cannot be revoked, extinguished or overridden by other laws or designations.
The people of Crowborough and the general public have now enjoyed these access rights for over 100 years.
The origins of Crowborough Common can be traced back nearly 1,000 years. The Domesday Book of 1086 recorded a manor named Alchorne (Alsihorne) and Crowborough Common is the 'waste' of the Manor of Alchornes. The waste was the land on which the lord's tenants, the commoners, could graze their cattle.
Crowborough Beacon Golf Club Limited, established in 1895, maintains a well-regarded course on part of the common. In area, only about 20% of the common is golf course (greens and fairways) so there is plenty of room for everyone to enjoy this land. The club is the Lord of the Manor of Alchornes and holds registered title to most of the common.
Failed attempt by club to remove public access rights
The golf club has erected new signs on the Common stating that access is now limited to public footpaths and bridleways and that the land is governed by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW).
This is not correct - the signs are wrong and misleading.
The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs has confirmed in writing that ‘there are no rights of access under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 applying to Crowborough Common’. Natural England and East Sussex County Council have also confirmed that CROW does not apply to the common.
The public are not, of course, limited to walking on public footpaths and bridleways - under the conditions set out by Earl De La Warr in 1906, the public have free access to walk the entirety of the common including the golfing areas.
New Interest in Crowborough’s Gas Well
The gas well on Crowborough Common is located between Sheep Plain, High Broom Road and High Broom Lane, close to residential properties.
You may wish to find it for yourself. The co-ordinates are (X)551057 (Y)129235
Enter them at the following website for a free location map: www.gridreferencefinder.com
The government has issued a Petroleum Exploration and Development License (PEDL) for this well.
The well is on public access land owned by Crowborough Beacon Golf Club Limited.
Identified as ASHDOWN 2 and marked on recent Government maps as ‘a conventional well that flowed gas’, the well is currently under licence to fracking specialist Cuadrilla Resources from 2008 to 2039.
The well was initially drilled in 1955 and is twice mentioned in the club’s own history book, published in 1995.
It is thought that the Weald area has the second largest reserves of shale gas in the country.
Save Our Common now asks -
Is this the reason for Crowborough Beacon Golf Club’s failed attempt to remove public access rights from the Common?
Is Crowborough Beacon Golf Club Ltd in discussions, or have they reached an agreement, with fracking specialist Cuadrilla to drill on Crowborough Common, subject to planning permission?
Click here for further information about Cuadrilla Resources and the gas well on Crowborough Common
Click here for information about Cuadrilla's activities in Balcombe, near Haywards Heath