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Beacon Hill Rottingdean

by MikeJS,

This area is the only open access space close to the village. The people who use this in the main are not hikers in boots but rather people going to the shops and school or taking their dogs for a walk. This is the only space near to our villages where people and dogs can walk freely. Therefore, it is extremely important that such freedom to roam and easy access is maintained. Currently, there appears to be a proposal to fence more of the Beacon and to graze more sheep up there for up to 4 months of the year. The fence would be an additional barrier to wildlife green corridors and the revised grazing plan would be a significant nuisance to those that use the Beacon. The majority of people walk the North/South route so they would have to cross these areas for a large part of the year. Therefore dogs would have to be on leads and people would have to negotiate the sheep, their droppings and the associated mud. We are surrounded by chalk downland, much of it still grazed as it has been for years, so please leave this small area as it is.

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PhilB 8 months ago
A problem - Beacon Hill: dog exercising strip or nature reserve? Not an either / or methinks. 
The sheep sustain the chalk grassland habitat, with its rich diversity of wildlife, from the many specialist wild flowers, plus insects and other creatures that rely on them, to the skylarks and other grander birds and animals. 
A fixed perimeter fence, with temporary compartments within, well-advertised as to when each patch is to be grazed, provides a solution. If well done, it works. Most of the hill is then openly accessible, freedom to roam, humans and dogs, with one parcel for dogs to be on a lead. 
The Beacon Hub can provide the education and awareness centre, if we're all well-informed then we can all enjoy the Downs more, with understanding and respect.
Sheep poo, dog mess, litter, anti-social behaviour, ... . We all need to learn to live together and address the problems, minimise the conflicts and make best use of the pressurised urban fringe green spaces we have. 
Beacon Hill has the great advantage of its LNR status, which should head off the urban edge development plans of the council in the City Plan, other areas are not so fortunate and are now under threat or already being lost.    
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CarrBW 8 months ago
The farm at Ovingdean has rights to roam, so people can walk freely there whilst being respectful of the livestock. It is opposite beacon hill. 
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