The North Sussex National Trust Volunteers have recently started work on a new project in the area around the Pump House at Standen. This work has already seen us clearing the undergrowth around the Pump House to open up the area.

North Sussex volunteers working in the rain to clear the undergrowth.
North Sussex volunteers working in the rain!

The aim for the future is that the Pump House can be used for educational groups and school visits to show them the native flora and fauna that we hope to encourage. We will create a boardwalk/patio area around the building itself to be used as a level seating area, as well as eventually working down the slope behind towards the river, with the ultimate aim of creating a wildlife pond. We have already re-built the existing and added new steps down to the area from the entrance at the main gate in Jack & Tommy field, as well as built a bridge to ford a boggy spot.

A volunteer from the North Sussex National Trust Volunteer Group testing out the new bridge over a boggy bit of ground, proudly displaying the group's banner flag.
Testing out the bridge!

We will also be cataloguing the wildlife in the area, with the group subscribing to an online site to register our findings and keeping a record to show how the regular maintenance of the area increases activity and encourages new species to move in. This can then be used for educational purposes when the area has been opened up to school groups.

This will be an exciting venture for us and we are all very excited to see the area develop and grow, with an open weekend being planned for the summer to show visitors an area that is usually closed to the general public, as well as show-casing our group in the hope of encouraging new volunteers, and indeed repeat visitors to Standen.

Jackie

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