Save Aldingbourne Rife Action Group Footpaths
Newsletter February 2022
We are focusing on two issues, the rife footpath and the Rife Valley Country Park. We have attached forms to complete for an application to make the river path a public right of way. Please complete the form to register that you have used the Rife footpath running from Felpham Way to Whitfield Close. You may have already filled in a form for the footpaths north of the river but the rife is a new linear path which has been fenced off, see photo below. Please email back your completed form, and it would be appreciated if you can forward the form to friends and family who may not be aware of the fencing off of the river walk.
We have also included a plan of the Rife Valley Country Park which is earmarked for the fields which form the strategic gap, including the golf course because these are areas of flood plain (they are grade 3 flooding, the worst). There are now plans to build on the flood plain which will make flooding in Felpham even worse (see video link).
For this reason there is a public meeting on 19th March to inform the public and build support against the plans, the meeting will help you know what the implications are and how to object.
Felpham Flooding https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzuzVeEX4qc
We look forward to seeing you 19th March.
Campaign 1 This is the original application by our action group to protect three footpaths for the communities of Hotham and Felpham, but also for the wider Bognor Regis area as people from all over have known our footpaths for a long time, use them to get to the town centre and to the sea, to work, but also to go further afield to the Downs. The paths which cross and circumvent fields provide an access to the wider countryside but also link the parishes of Bersted, Felpham and Bognor Regis Town wards. They were shut down in 2018 preventing school children walking to Downview school, students getting to Felpham college and Arun Leisure Complex and the swimming pool. Wroxham Way residents could leave their car at home and walk to town or to the supermarkets to work and shop. The case has been submitted by West Sussex County Council to the Government Planning Inspector. We expect a decision from the Government Inspector soon.
Campaign 2 This is about the river walk running from Felpham Way by the rife bridge south of the Leisure Centre alongside the Aldingbourne Rife to Whitfield Close. This paths was fenced in two places near the bridge early summer last year which facilitated access onto the field footpaths and the destination of the wider countryside, schools, college and Leisure Centre. This path is crucial as it joins a continuous link to the sea and the countryside. The riverside walk had been used by school children walking to Downview School and acts as a pedestrian access to the Glenwood Estate and Whitfeld Close. We are campaigning to have this footpath made into a public right of way along with the three paths in Campaign 1. It is not too late for you to contact us for forms to say that you have used the river walk. It may have been only once, it may have been when you used the path to get to school, visit relatives, or just to enjoy a walk to the bridge, walk the dog and meet other fellow neighbours or just to feed the ducks or go fishing. This is an important amenity and an important footpath that mustn’t be lost. It doesn’t matter when just so we know that the path has been used continuously. All four footpaths represent the only link that Bognor Regis has to get right out into the countryside. There is still time to register your voice. Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for a form or message us on this page.
Other news: We are investigating the possibility of returning the fields to public space as earmarked in Arun District Council’s Green Infrastructure Framework and are interested if any of our followers would be interested in becoming more involved. This is a local community forum so your views are important to us as well as having active supporters who would like to assist us in delivering leaflets or writing letters or emails of support. Please contact us using the email address below or message us on this page. Please continue sending us your photos of you using the paths and the space, the activities and memories of your walks with your family, your dogs and importantly and in particular photographs o of wildflowers, butterflies and insects, birds and mammals. This area has been identified as a biodiversity area of opportunity. We have support from a number of national conservation organisations for the use of this area. We also know that the fields, the airfield and the golf course within the Environment Agency’s Zone 3 flood plain – the worst. There is not a great deal that can be done with the land other than a sanctuary for wildlife which if the council isn’t aware is an economic benefit to the town, but also provides health and welfare benefits both physically and mentally for local people as passive recreation. Thank you for your continuing interest and support, Aldingbourne Paths and Country Park Action Group.