Huge cash boost for project to explore hidden heritage of Hastings Country Park

A project to explore the hidden heritage of Hastings Country Park has received �277,000 in Lottery funding.
A project to explore the hidden heritage of Hastings Country Park has received �277,000 in Lottery funding.

An environmental charity, working in partnership with Hastings Borough Council, has received a huge cash boost to help run a project exploring the hidden heritage of Hastings Country Park.

Groundwork South and Hastings Borough Council were successful in their bid for a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £277,000.

The exciting project, called Hidden Hastings Heritage, will take place over the next two years across the 853 acres of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve. Made possible with money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on the hidden stories and physical reminders of the park’s varied and often little-known past.

With the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund award, the project will offer exciting new activities and events in the park for schools, community groups, local people and visitors.

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Activities will take place across the whole of the park and will help people to adventure through this unique and special landscape, many of them for the first time. The project will also bring the park’s history to life online and with physical pieces of interpretation and signage installed in a number of key locations, together with improvements to access paths.

As part of the project people will be able to learn about and enjoy hidden stories such as the role of the park in the growth of Victorian Hastings, as home to RAF Fairlight, in the development of Radar and links to notable local figures like John Logie Baird and Marianne North.

Groundwork South is an environmental and regeneration charity focused on changing places and changing lives across the region.

Ben Coles, director, Development and Strategic Partnerships, Groundwork South, said: “Working with our partner Hastings Borough Council we are delighted to have been successful in securing this support for the very special place that is Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve thanks to National Lottery Players. Through the Hidden Hastings project we will be able to make sure that the park’s potential to support the learning, enjoyment and health and wellbeing of as many local people as possible is made a reality.”

A council spokesperson said: “This funding investment helps our ongoing commitment to the country park as the largest green space in the borough and it is wonderful for our community. We hope to welcome new visitors, while regular visitors can learn something new about this very special space.

“We welcome the recognition of the parks place within our town’s special heritage, and thanks to the National Lottery heritage fund for their support.”