A- Z of What We do

Allotments

RPC sub-lets the allotments in Chant Lane to the Rotherfield Allotments Association. There are 20 70 x 15 ft plots on a tranquil site with beautiful views.

During the summer months, there is a monthly working party to keep the communal areas in good order. There are families, retirees and everyone in between and the Association operate a buddy system to support anyone new to gardening and allotments.

To hire your own allotment for as little as £30 a year please contact Sheila Hicks on 01892 852572

Buses and Shelters

RPC supports the Wealdlink bus service between Rotherfield and Crowborough to provide safe and affordable transport to combat social exclusion and increase independence.

The 225 service operates on a Tuesday and Thursday and you can find a timetable here.

RPC is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the six bus shelters across our parish. If you have any maintenance issues, please contact Trevor our Clerk

Cemeteries

RPC are responsible for the upkeep of the two burial sites within our Parish.

Old Burial Ground (behind St Deny’s Church) is a closed cemetery which is only available for people with relatives already buried in the cemetery and who wish to be buried together in an existing plot. The Sussex Lund Fund providing us with a grant which helped us make the grounds more ecologically friendly by allowing areas to grow wild, planting fruit trees and the installation of owl and bat boxes to encourage nesting.

Hornshurst Burial Ground is where most people in the Parish are buried. There is a dedicated area for the internment of ashes and memorial plaques on the Remembrance Wall.
 

Burial charges (Adopted April 2020)

Defibrillators

A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest.

When someone has a cardiac arrest, for every minute it takes for the defibrillator to reach someone and deliver a shock, their chances of survival reduce by up to 10%. As a result, with the support of the British Heart Foundation RPC have purchased and installed two defibrillators situated in the Rotherfield Village Hall and Mark Cross Community Centre. Other defibrillators in our parish can be found at Eridge Station and Cuckoo Line Stores.

RPC can organise emergency first aid training to Parishioners. If you would like to be trained please contact Trevor the Clerk. You can also watch how to use a defibrillator video here

Eridge Station

Eridge Station is within Rotherfield Parish. We think it’s one of the prettiest stations on the Uckfield line. It is a direct link to London and Uckfield, also the Spa Valley Heritage railway connects Eridge with Tunbridge Wells West Station via High Rocks.

RPC have recently commissioned a beautiful mural by local artist David Peacock depicting the many train routes that existed around Sussex at the beginning of the last century (way before electric cars!)

Footpaths and Bridleways

Nestled in the heart of the High Weald area of outstanding natural beauty, Rotherfield has some stunning nature walks. The bluebells in the spring, the golden shades in autumn and the frosty sunrises in winter make Rotherfield parish one of the most beautiful places to walk. Take a look at the East Sussex Rights of Way map for inspiration who manage all rights of ways.

On Rotherfield Parish Council, Cllr. Wickenden and Cllr Watson Smith are our footpath wardens. If you spot any issues with footpaths, styles and gateways in our parish network please contact the Clerk.

A few years ago, RPC developed a series of leaflets documenting 3 mile, 4.5 mile, 5.5 mile, 7 mile, 8 mile and 8.5 mile circular walks around the parish. If you are a keen walker or good at writing or design we’d love you to help us update them.

GP Surgery

In 2017 Rotherfield was faced with losing our GP surgery. This facility is critical for our village and serves approximately 3000 residents many of whom are older and vulnerable population. We conducted a household survey across our Parish and the response was overwhelming – 96% response that the building should be purchased by our community.

As a result, the Parish Council took out a loan from the Public Works Loan Board and purchased the building and are responsible for the management of the building.

The Council acknowledges the generous support of the Rotherfield Trust who contributed significantly towards the refurbishment work including installing a new boiler, extending the car park and repairing the fascias and the guttering.

Highways

Traffic in Rotherfield is one of the Councils’ and residents biggest challenges.

Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV’s) turning down Station Road have caused extensive damage to The Kings Arms, a historic seventeenth century inn and create long traffic jams.

Although RPC have no statutory powers, we are actively lobbying East Sussex County Council to reinforce the existing restrictions for long vehicles.

As a Council, we have secured signage for length restrictions (9.9m +) to deter long vehicles and we have spent over 1000 hours reviewing CCTV footage to identify and report the culprits to Operation Crackdown.

We need your help. If you see an HGV breaching these restrictions please note date and time and report it to Clerk to produce evidence to submit to Operation Crackdown.

In Bloom

In the spring our beautiful parish is adorned with impressive floral displays. Last year Rotherfield Parish Council provided flowers and over 30 parishioners lead by Janet Kipping & Sam Miller from Rotherfield Bonfire Society and Cllr Nicola Glynn from the Council, spent a morning on the beautiful Millennium Green potting up flower baskets and tubs to be placed around the Parish.

If you are a keen gardener and would like to get involved in 2020 please contact the Clerk

Jam

Unfortunately this is not referring to the jam made after picking blackberries on the beautiful Millennium Green. This is a jam at Eridge Station caused by commuters parking on both sides of the pavement making the road single file. Local residents have to wait up to 10 minutes to access their homes and it causes an inconvenience. Since 2010 this has been high on the Parish Council’s agenda. After a lot of lobbying we persuaded Network Rail in 2013 to increase the (paid for) car park by 36 spaces but commuters continue to park on the roadside.

Rotherfield Parish Council is also aware of the parking issues in the centre of Rotherfield Village and Mark Cross.

In 2020 the Council are making it our priority to address the concerns regarding all parking issues. If your life is affected please do raise your concerns with the Clerk.

Kiosks

In 2019 Rotherfield Parish Council adopted two telephone kiosks in the centre of the village for £1 each.

We asked our community what they would like us to do with them and as a result, we have transformed them into a community larder in the village square to help reduce food waste and the one next to the school is a book exchange.

Please do make sure you keep a safe distance, wash your hands and wash any of the items exchanged before you use them,

Litter picking and dog bins

RPC employs the services of Phil and Dave who you often see in a high vis jacket along the highways and byways picking up litter across our Parish.

Dog poo causes untold suffering to residents. They go through the two-fold pain of witnessing it in real life and then seeing it posted on Facebook. It does put you off your Cornflakes.

The Millennium Green Trust have provided the dog bins with the support of RPC. Wealden District Council are paid to remove the contents on a regular basis. Please use them 🙂

Money Saved

As a Council we pride ourselves on how much we save thanks to Councillors doing the work ourselves. Some of the works we carry out include: renovating the surgery exterior, general maintenance in the recreation ground and cemeteries, inspections of ponds, footpaths and trees on all Council land. Councillors volunteer up to 20 hours a month to keep our costs down.

If you would like to volunteer your time to help us keep our Parish clean and tidy do get in touch.

Noticeboards

Across the Parish, we have noticeboards and which display formal notices of meetings and contact details of councillors so you can always get in touch.

There are also Parish Maps on noticeboards across the Parish.

Over 2020 we will be sprucing them up. If you see a notice board that needs a little love do drop Trevor our Clerk an email.

Operation Yellow Card

Anti-social car parking across the Parish has been a frequent complaint from Parishioners.

After many Highways meeting, our solution is to leave parking cards on vehicles that are illegally or irresponsibly parked and submit details to Operation Crackdown – the Sussex Police initiative. We hope this will act as a deterrent so pavements are clear for prams and wheelchairs and there is less congestion in the village.

The nearest car park to Rotherfield Village Centre are on Station Road by the Millennium Green and at the Village Hall on North Street, both are a short walk from the village centre.

Mark Cross has parking at the Millennium Green and also opposite the Community Centre. Eridge Station has parking for 59 cars at the rear of the station.

Police Community Support Officer (PCSO)

Meet Matt – Our new PCSO! He is the eyes and ears of the Police service. You might recognise him but cannot picture how you know him as he is not wearing shorts – he was our postman for years so knows us all very well indeed.

RPC is not responsible for the PSCO (this comes under Sussex Police) however he will be visiting Rotherfield Parish [date] and you can reach him on [number].

You should call 101 if you want to talk to your local police officer, get crime prevention advice, or report a crime that does not need an emergency response.

Questions

As a Council, we are here to serve you – our Parish.

If you would like to ask a question or make a suggestion you are welcome to come along to our public forum at the beginning of our Parish Council Meeting & Committee Meetings.

Alternatively come and join us for a coffee at one of our monthly drop-in surgeries.

Recreation and Play Ground

The Recreation Ground houses the village Sports Club, which, with help from the Parish Council, maintains the football and cricket pitches to a very high standard. The Council recognises the incredible voluntary work of Pete Ford and members of the Football Club who have made our sports field the envy of many clubs in the area.

In the corner of the ground is the very popular Bowls Club, which is much used in summer – last year, RPC paid for a new path for better access. There is also a playground which has swings, slides and play equipment for young children. Many parishioners do 8 laps around the rec which is a solid 5km run.

RPC restored the Beacon pictured here. Village beacon fires were lit in ancient times (way before Whatsapp and Facebook) to send messages to neighbouring villages or mark special occasions.

Street Lights

RPC own 97 street lights throughout the Parish and they are annually safety checked by East Sussex County Council and repairs, maintenance or replacement of streetlights

To save energy, the majority of street lights are turned off between 11pm-6am and we are slowly replacing bulbs with low energy LED street lights when the old units fail. This is an expensive exercise as the cost of replacing a streetlight is in the region of £3000.

If you wish to report any issues relating to street lights please contact the Clerk or East Sussex County Council online.

Traffic Calming Measures

Speed Kills! Unfortunately many drivers do not adhere to the 30mph speed limit and this has been an ongoing complaint of parishioners and a topic which keeps our Highways committee very busy indeed.

RPC have invested in a speed indicator device which flashes the current speed to make drivers aware.

Out of the 48,000 vehicles clocked by the device in Town Row, 34,500 (70%) were travelling over the 30 mph speed limit. As a community we have a lot work to do.

If you would like to be involved in a Community Speed Watch initiative across the Parish please contact the Clerk

Updates

As a Council our role is to keep you updated on your community.

We have a website (which you clearly know already as you are reading it!), Facebook page and Twitter account giving you live updates and publishing all minutes and agendas.

We also produce a monthly feature in the Parish Magazine and deliver a newsletter to your doorstep twice a year.

You can always come to any Council meeting or committee, meet us at a monthly drop-in surgery or give us a call if you have any suggestions.

Village Halls & Mark Cross Community Centre

Rotherfield Parish Council owns the village hall and car park. It is run by an independent management committee comprising of organisations who regularly use the hall. It’s a thriving hall which houses the WI which celebrated last year 100 years, indoor bowls, martial arts, and home to the infamous Rotherfield Players.

We are pleased to support the development of Mark Cross Community Centre following the reordering of St Mark’s Church. The community centre is now receiving regular bookings including RPC.

RPC has supported Eridge Village Hall over the years with projects to enhance the facilities and also hold meetings at the hall during the year.

War Memorial

“When you go home, tell them of us and say

For your tomorrow we gave our today”

Tens of thousands of war monuments were erected in the 1920s to provide a focus for public grief. Over 700,000 British soldiers killed in the 1914-1918 War and a policy of not repatriating their bodies meant that they had no grave in their home towns or villages.

In 2018 a dedicated outside War memorial was built for all those who have lost lives through war across the parish.

In 2020 Rotherfield will be organising the celebrations to mark the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. If you would like to help organise the celebration please contact the clerk.

(Xmas) Christmas Lights

Every Christmas, Rotherfield Parish Council is proud to support lighting up Rotherfield Square in partnership with Rotherfield & Mark Cross Bonfire Society. To celebrate, the Bonfire Society organise Christmas Lights Switch-On with carols, mulled wine and the Christmas jumper competition. Ho Ho Ho!

“I really do think Rotherfield has the very best Christmas lights of everywhere I know, be that towns or villages. Simple, abundant, traditional, classy, utterly stunning.”

Rotherfield Resident on Facebook

A special thanks to Les Pike who makes sure everything is working and Rajh and Nalayini at the Rotherfield Stores who kindly pays for all the electricity to keep the Christmas lights on.

Rotherfield Parish Council has provided funding for Christmas lights in Mark Cross as well. These are put up by volunteers and make the village look very festive.

Yew Trees (and many more)

RPC are responsible for all trees on Parish land – the Recreation ground and Court Meadow Green.

Our tree wardens Norman and Graham inspect the trees every year to make sure they are safe and routine maintenance to make sure no branches fall on parishioners.

Our favourite tree is the ancient Yew Tree in the churchyard which is over 1000 years old. it’s chained and propped up by timber supports. It’s a truly beautiful work of art maintained by Wealden District Council.

If you spot any trees that need a little love please contact the Clerk.

Zero Carbon Emissions

Last year Wealden District Council declared a climate emergency and it aims to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions across our District by 2050 but hopefully for our planet’s sake earlier. Friends of the Earth website rate Wealden District at 68% on a climate friendly test. Here is how we can all do our bit to protect our next generations to come.

  • 20-30% of Wealden has tree cover but we need to double this to help reduce emissions, as well as benefit nature and our mental health.
  • 20% of commuter journeys are made by public transport, cycling and walking. To help our planet we need to double that figure to 40% – please use buses and walk when you can.
  • 34% of Wealden homes are well insulated. We need to make sure the other 66% are warm and toasty too.
  • 51% of household waste is reused, recycled, or composted. We need to increase this to 70% by 2025 on the path to zero waste.
  • Wealden has 89 megawatts of renewable energy available. For us to be a district using 100% renewable energy we need to increase this to 226 MW.