Town councillors and invited guests attended a ceremony on Saturday [13 October] to celebrate the Western Road Recreation Ground’s recently gained Fields in Trust protected status, at which a plaque was unveiled to mark the safeguarding of the site for recreational purposes in perpetuity.
Hailsham Town Council was successful in its funding bid earlier this year, having been awarded £5,000 by the London Marathon Charitable Trust as part of The Active Spaces programme delivered in partnership with Fields in Trust.
The Town Council has since worked with project partner Hailsham Active (formerly Hailsham & District Sports Alliance) and Our Parks to deliver and operate the Hailsham Active scheme, inspiring the local community to get active and take part in exercise programmes on the site which is now legally protected for future generations to enjoy.
Launched in April of this year, Hailsham Active provided free and easy access to low-impact exercise at the recreation ground on Saturday mornings for people aged 16+ in the local community, though focusing on the over 55s.
Exercise sessions have now been transferred indoors from the recreation ground to the recently opened James West Community Centre in Brunel Drive. Sessions now take place on Tuesdays from 6.30pm-7.30pm and further sessions are scheduled for Saturdays from 9am-10am and 10am-11pm, commencing 3rd November.
Exercise sessions are led by experienced, fully qualified and insured instructors and include a range of classes such as yoga, pilates, back-to-exercise and gentle exercise. To join and book a space, visit www.ourparks.org.uk.
Deputy Town Clerk Mickey Caira said: “It is wonderful news that the the Town Council and Hailsham Active have been able to work with the community to get the recreation ground protected, enabling people now and in the future to get physically active and enjoy the local environment at the same time.”
The recreation ground in Western Road has for many years been an important area for local residents and we are delighted the land has been granted “Fields in Trust” status, therefore protecting it from development in perpetuity.”
Steve Wennington, founder and chairman of Hailsham Active, said: “We are very grateful to Mickey and Hailsham Town Council who have fully supported both the protection of the recreation ground and also our aims of creating more health and fitness opportunities for the residents of Hailsham.”
“We continue to work with the Town Council to promote other opportunities and look to roll out the exercise classes to other areas as soon as we can. I would also like to thank all those who attend the classes and make it such fun.”
Chairman of Fields in Trust, Tim Phillips said: “We believe the best way to protect our parks and green spaces is for communities to get out and use them; this programme is encouraging new groups of users to love their local park.”
“We will identify sites which contribute to community health and wellbeing and protect these spaces forever. The associated activity on site can help catalyse a local community to use their recreational space and get active.”
Terry Hall, Communications Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
Telephone: 01323 841702 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org