Lottery boost for Hastings country park

HOT on the heels of news that Hastings Pier is set for an influx of lottery cash, the town’s country park has been given a bumper grant.

The Friends of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve have been successful in their bid for £9,000 to go towards extra equipment for the new ranger office.

And the former milking parlour in Fairlight Place Farm will be further transformed into a meeting room.

A delighted Steve Peak, chairman of the friends, thanked Andy Phillips of Hastings Borough Council, for helping put the bid together.

He added: “We are incredibly grateful to the Big Lottery Fund for supporting the friends and our work.”

The meeting room has already been used for a host of wildlife education events, including a bumblebee walk and talk by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust last year.

But the new education and survey equipment will help the building to be used more often by both the friends and other nature conservation groups in Sussex.

New equipment will include microscopes, a moth trap and a stack of recording gear.

The rest of the cash will be used to print wildlife booklets similar to the popular Wildflowers of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve.

A booklet on the birds, grasshoppers and bush-crickets of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve is already being planned.

Councillor Trevor Webb, head of leisure at the local authority, was pleased the authority had managed to help the volunteer group.

He said: “This is fantastic news. This has been a great collaboration between the council and the friends to access additional funds for the country park.

“The country park is one of the best nature reserves in the south east.

“The grant allows us to provide equipment that schools and colleges can use to learn more about this fantastic site.”