Posted by: lhct | July 2, 2020

Green space surveys need your views

Many of you will appreciate that Chesworth Farm has been positively buzzing with extra visitors taking more local exercise than previously during lockdown. So while you already know the benefits – physical and mental – of Chesworth and of all Horsham’s local green spaces, new visitors have been perhaps discovering them for the first time.

This news update will be relatively brief and concentrate on the theme of protecting our district’s open spaces. First, you most likely have read or seen that there is a short-term “Horsham District Open Spaces” online survey (as background to the HDC draft Local Plan) on what you think of the district’s green spaces. If you haven’t done so yet, please make your voices heard by filling this in, by Monday 6 July. It only takes minutes to complete and here is a link to it.

Next, many local people have banded together to oppose the proposal from Horsham District Council to build on Rookwood Golf Course as an option in the draft Local Plan. Opposition is focused on its proximity to Warnham Local Nature Reserve which will be severely impacted by the plan though the effects would be felt throughout the town . Those who wish to oppose this plan can find out much more from the campaigning group, the Keep Rookwood Green alliance. Here is a link to the group’s website By taking part in their survey, you can record what you value about Rookwood as well as contribute your own ideas on future uses for the site.


Skylarks have nested in Spring Barn and Gravel Pit this summer, helped by a joint FCF/HDC project to give them some protected field-space.

Reference photos: Peter Merchant Poster: Lisa White


Posted by: lhct | February 29, 2020

Say no to Rookwood golf course development

Saturday 29 February is the Local Plan consultation drop-in session in Swan Walk, 10am-4pm.
Here is the first (and currently only) opportunity in Horsham town centre to look at the proposed plans in more detail and at the same time engage with representatives from Horsham District Council before sending in comments.

Top of our list for discussion is the proposal to build on Rookwood golf course. The Friends of Chesworth Farm committee (and we believe the majority of our membership) stand with Friends of Warnham Local Nature Reserve in saying “NO” to this development because of the significant and irreplaceable loss of valuable habitat on its very doorstep. We say “NO” to the extremely detrimental effects of this proposal on the wildlife breeding in, and passing through, the reserve, currently the only Local Nature Reserve (LNR) on the edge of Horsham town.

We say “YES” to keeping all our green spaces which are currently under threat of development, fragmenting our precious green corridors, our network (of which Chesworth Farm is also a part) so essential to healthy living. There must be another way, this is your opportunity to voice it.

Friends of Warnham Local Nature Reserve campaign poster


The Horsham District Local Plan 2019-2036 public consultation is now live and open for formal comment by 5pm on Monday March 30. Use the link below to find out more – and please take the opportunity to comment during this first stage.

Among other topics, the link takes you to details of:
How you can register in order to comment officially and receive online updates
Local public drop-in events: Billingshurst (already past), Ashington (20/2), Henfield (25/2), Horsham (29/2), Ifield (3/4) & Southwater (4/4)
Where to find a paper copy of the Local Plan (libraries & Parish councils)
A glossary of terms.


Horsham District Draft Local Plan 2019-36: The public consultation is now open

Posted by: lhct | February 6, 2020

Hedge-laying skills learnt by Chesworth volunteers

Two workshops in the first weeks of the year have given Friends of Chesworth Farm volunteers new ‘estate skills’ in preparation for a future hedge-laying project in nearby Tip Field (on the right entering from Queensway).

In the first of two events led by HDC countryside warden Ryan Allison, the group started by learning how to coppice the hazel stands in The Warren (the wooded enclosed area just down from the Volunteer Centre) which produced the stakes and binders needed for the hedge-laying job ahead.

The second part of the task was to repair a section of previously-laid hedge along Pedlars Way. As you can see from the pictures, the group did a great job.

In the second workshop, the volunteers honed their skills over an afternoon by cutting and laying Hazel, Dogwood and Blackthorn already growing in the Volunteer Centre garden into a new laid-hedge. The team were delighted with their progress – and Ryan can set up the future project in Tip Field with confidence.

Photographs: Ryan Allison, Tim Thomas and David Verrall

Posted by: lhct | February 3, 2020

Cattle grazing update

The British White cattle, touring some of the farm’s public fields again before heading to other district sites, are now in Gravel Pit and Spring Barn, probably for a couple of weeks Please note the HDC signs onsite for clarification.

Posted by: lhct | January 21, 2020

British White cattle heading onto public fields again

The British White cattle are going to tour some of the farm’s public fields again before heading to other district sites. Today (Tuesday) the plan is to move them to Parlour Mead and then Wednesday onto Jenny Bare Legs/Great Horsham Hill/gated Chambers Field for a week or so. Please note the Horsham District Council signs onsite for clarification.


Posted by: lhct | January 10, 2020

Winter-spring events on the farm

Apologies, all farm-based events cancelled from 17 March 2020 until further notice


Posted by: lhct | January 2, 2020

New way to report on dog waste bins

Horsham District Council (HDC) has recently introduced a new way to report full or broken dog waste bins. QR codes have been attached to all dog waste bins, creating a live link to the “Report it” section of the Council’s website.
So if you see an issue, try scanning the QR code on a Smartphone (iPhone or Android 9) camera, click on the link that comes up and fill in the short form. Read more. At the same time HDC reminds you that dog waste can be disposed of in general public litter bins where a dog bin is not available, or it can be taken home and put in your own general waste bin.
Dog waste bin at Chesworth Farm
As to Chesworth Farm, please note that (as well as byelaws) the current Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) makes dog fouling a criminal offence. Yes, on Chesworth Farm this means its fields, paths, verges and hedgerows: in fact EVERYWHERE. Offences may be dealt with by a fixed penalty notice issued instantly by certain HDC staff, such as the Neighbourhood Warden team, if you are observed deliberately leaving your dogs’ waste. If enforcement is via a magistrates’ court it could cost you up to £1000. If you are identified as a regular offender by fellow-visitors, they can also report your details to the Neighbourhood Wardens.
Please choose to protect our lovely environment. All visitors, and especially the litter-picking and Horsham Green Gym volunteers, will thank you.
Posted by: lhct | December 23, 2019

Christmas cheer

Gorgeous creations made by the lovely people at our annual Christmas wreath-making workshop. All of the wreaths different, and all of them based on greenery from Chesworth Farm, Warnham LNR and Friends’ gardens.

Posted by: lhct | December 9, 2019

Task and litter team out in force

In December FCF task and litter volunteers (Jim, Tim, Chris, James & Izzie) work together to clear and tidy the gateway on the corner of Jenny Bare Legs and Great Horsham Hill. They were greeted by a picturesque overgrowth of nettles and brambles, buried in which they found a not-so-attractive heap of litter & flung poo bags. Especial thanks to Izzie who was small enough to reach the debris!

Thanks also to Rachel, Veronica and Linda who litter-picked in other areas. The next litter, task and tea afternoon will be on Saturday 4 January. Everybody welcome. Equipment and refreshments supplied.

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