“NO” TO CENTER PARCS BUILDING ON OLDHOUSE WARREN
“YES” TO A PEOPLE’S FOREST, LIKE EPPING FOREST OR THE NEW FOREST
Right next to Crawley is the biggest forest woodland in Sussex.
Worth Forest, with Oldhouse Warren at its heart, wraps around the south eastern edge of Crawley, just as Epping Forest wraps round the north eastern edge of London.
Oldhouse Warren and Worth Forest’s stretching wildness beautifully complement the happy crowdedness of lovely Tilgate Park.
Yet Oldhouse Warren and most of Worth Forest are fiercely private, and nature there has been badly damaged by the past management of their owners.
And now Center Parcs and the landowners plan to make big money out of it – building a holiday town of 900 lodges and big visitor attractions utterly unsuited to wild countryside & ancient woodland.
This forest should be open and free to us all & a haven for nature, like Epping Forest and the New Forest.
Countryside which should be ours to enjoy for free will be lost, whilst much visitors’ cash will flow into the owners’ coffers.
SAY “NO” TO NATURE’S EXTINCTION
Oldhouse Warren is a place of peace and delight, and home to rare and beautiful wildlife.
Ravens and owls, Goshawks, Hobby falcons and even rarer raptors, need its wildness and spreading size for their hunting. Tiny birds like Firecrest and the endangered Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, dainty Redstart, Willow Warbler, Marsh Tit, Hawfinch and Spotted Flycatchers need its varied and ancient habitats to survive.
Its ground nesting birds, like Woodcock & Nightjar, have some of their last Sussex refuges here in these forests. They need places where we will leave them in peace.
Oldhouse Warren has one of the largest clusters of ancient trees in Worth & St Leonard’s Forests, and those forests have more than anywhere else in Sussex.
The gnarled old veteran Oaks, Beeches and occasional Yew trees are survivors of the wildwood, before humans cleared and changed it so profoundly. They are scattered through the blocks of conifers. Despite their antiquity, they are untended, cramped and struggling to survive under the shade of crowding conifers planted right up to them. Many of them are dying. Many have died.
This wonderful heritage of ancient trees is unloved, unknown and ignored.
Yet Glow Worms still shine on midsummer nights on the Warren’s open ground. Golden Ringed Dragonflies – the biggest in Britain – and the rare Brilliant Emerald Damselfly survive in the shady jungles of its hidden valley streams and open water.
Gorgeous spreads of pink Bog Pimpernel and blue Ivy Leaved Bellflower, purple heathers and yellow Tormentil and Marsh Buttercup, Spearwort, survive along the forest rides from the ancient vegetation of the medieval forest. Even the rare native Lily of the Valley – different from our garden variety – survives there.
The tiny springtime candles of Bog Beacon fungi glow against the black of little swamps and bogs, like the flickering ‘will ‘o the wisp’ that led travellers astray across the moors.
Fierce-looking Green Tiger Beetles, iridescent Dumble Dor beetles, and Sabre Wasps as big as a child’s hand survive there. All are harmless. All are beautiful.
As summer dusk falls, bats flit on all sides amongst the trees, from giant Serotines hunting low above our heads, to weeny Pipistrelles circling the glades and rides.
SATURDAY 24th SEPTEMBER 2022
A PEOPLE’S FOREST
Oldhouse Warren could be a fantastic public place.
It should be OURS to enjoy for FREE, not lost to an expensive holiday new town of buildings, plazas, and apartments, bonkers roads, massive new car movements, pollutions, massive energy use, and consumerism – all ratchetting up climate change.
Oldhouse Warren and Worth Forest could be to Crawley and South London what Epping Forest is to the people of East London, or the New Forest is to Southampton.
It should be a place which people freely enjoy and use, where nature is respected and nurtured.
It must not be a place where nature is reduced to a backdrop – wallpaper – for an urban commercial leisure development.
WORTH FOREST IS WORTH SAVING
PROTECT WORTH FOREST & MAKE IT PUBLIC