OPENING OF THE EGRET’S WAY, OUSE VALLEY CYCLE NETWORK
Disabled Ramblers were asked back in 2012 to support the Ouse Valley Cycle Network in their efforts to establish a link between the villages of Southease and Rodmell in East Sussex, near Newhaven. Val Rawlings and Sheila Matthews, ex DR member and founder of Sussex Roamability, went to see Neville Harrison the Chair of the OVCN and DR accordingly wrote a letter of support. Two years later it was a pleasure, therefore, for Val and Bob McLellan to go yesterday, the 7th of June, to the opening of the new pathway which has now been established and links those two villages. It passes through beautiful scenery alongside the River Ouse and at present ceases at the lovely village of Rodmell where we ended up at Monk’s House – a NT property which was the country retreat of Virginia Woolf, the novelist, and where she composed much of her best known works. There we had juice, coffee and delicious cup cakes, supplied by the local hostelry the Abergavenny Arms, in the peaceful and wild garden of Monk’s House.
OVCN now hope to complete the final section of the network from Rodmell onto Lewes to make the link between Newhaven and Lewes complete. The pathway is intended to be used by walkers, cyclists, horse riders and of course – those on mobility scooters!! We were the only two scooters there and generated much interest from everyone. Two horse riders also attended and a big crowd of cyclists and walkers. A really good community spirit was evident and we had a really interesting and fruitful day. The NT are very interested in opening their properties that have trails to DR and from attending this opening of Egret’s Way we have made a link with the NT at Bateman’s where Rudyard Kipling lived and we hope to pursue this and visit with a view to advising on the trails and tracks there.
A lot of work has gone into the planning and obtaining of the funding for this path and it is very rewarding to see it all come to a satisfactory conclusion. From this the Regional Group in Hampshire intend to put on a ramble during the summer to visit this pathway….. so keep an eye on the website!