The Jardin has not progressed this year as anticipated, but we are pleased to be able to say that we have learnt a lot and there are better plans in place for the remainder of the winter and into next year.
It is the intention of the Parish Council to return the left-hand side of the garden to a memorial garden which historically is what it was. The Twinning Association are very much in favour of this.
By returning the area back to a more formal garden the decision was made to remove the wild flower patch at the end of season from its prominent position in the lawn area to the back, forming a border in front of the fence. Due to miscommunications some selected plants had been removed. Although left to flower for the rest of the year it didn’t quite recover and the contractors removed it from this site. The area has now been reseeded with grass to match the maintenance document.
The council plan on creating large flower beds along the fence lines on both the right and left. We have met with residents who are keen to help with the remodelling of the Jardin and will advise the council on a new planting scheme which will be formal but also bee and wildlife friendly.
With regards to the ponds, we will be constructing a shallow dam in the right-hand pond to create more depth so that it does not dry out in the summer. The pond will then be visible from the road. We will also be planting ground cover and a variety of shrubs complementing the species that appear after the previous clearance creating more diverse habitats.
We should also mention that there are a number of large ash trees in this area which look to be suffering from ash die back. These have been inspected by a chartered arboriculturist and the recommendation is to have them removed. This has been agreed with East Sussex Fire and Rescue and an application has been made to Wealden. In addition to these trees, we have a diseased large maple tree on the far side of the pond and an oak near to the school and these will also need to be removed. The timber from the oak could potentially be used back on the site.
The left-hand pond will be maintained as it has over the past few years. The contractor will be removing some of this year’s growth and clearing some of the banks reopening up the water body.
A project we would like to undertake is to make the left-hand pond area more accessible to push chairs and wheel chairs, as well as increasing access in wet weather. We are engaging with a specialist to advise construction of a boardwalk. If it is feasible, we intend to apply to the Sussex Lund for a grant.
In summary, we plan to make whole of the Jardin a haven for both residents and wildlife and the council is very pleased to have the support of residents to move forward with this.
We are please to day that some updates will be made to Sparrows Green Recreation Ground will be made this spring. We have just placed an order to renew the Zip Wire in the main playground. This has been out of action for some time. In addition, there will be a new basketball hoop at the far wend of the football pitch replacing the current one. This will be on a new artificial surface rather than grass so will be usable all year.
Sadly, we have identified a number of dead or decaying trees around the recreation ground and we have had to make another application to Wealden to have these removed.
In addition to the improvements to the play equipment at Sparrows Greens we anticipate final agreement to order a new playground for the field just behind the Commemoration Hall. This will be aimed at younger children from just two years old. We would like to thank WIH&F for working with the council on this project.
Finally, the council is looking at the feasibility of refurbishing the public toilets next to the commemoration hall. Further updates on this to follow.