What is the Uckfield Millennium Green?

A Millennium Green is an open space for community use. It is less formal than a park, and areas will be left to grow wild to be a haven for wild life and wild flowers. It is owned by a community-based charity and is not owned by the Town Council. The people who run the Charity, the Trustees, are bound by the terms set out in the Deed of Trust.

Who had the idea?

Local, Uckfield people, assisted by the Uckfield Town Council and East Sussex County Council, took advantage of the Countryside Agency's initiative to use National Lottery money to establish Breathing Spaces for communities all around the country. The design of the Green was developed by the East Sussex County Councils Architects Department with input from local people and groups.

How big is it?

The Uckfield Millennium Green is 21.99 Acres and as such is one of the biggest of the 499 Millennium Greens.

Who paid for its creation?

East Sussex County Council give the land to the Charity. The work on the creation of the Green was paid for with grants from the Millennium Commission and the Uckfield Town Council. Donations were received but thousands of hours of volunteer time were used as money in matching the grant claims.

Why doesn't the Council own it?

Both Uckfield Town Council and East Sussex County Council have supported both the planning and the implementation of the Green however; the Millennium Green is held in a Charitable Trust to protect the site from changes arising from Political whim. In any case, in the last few years the ability of local Councils to invest money in these projects has whittled away. The energy, money and commitment to this project have come from the actions of local people.

Who else is involved?

Some of the work (Tree-planting, Fence and boardwalk building) has been completed by local volunteers. The British Conservation Trust Volunteers (BTCV) has carried out much of the erection of gates and fences as well as the initial tree planting. Local schools were involved in the design for the Millennium Feature (although sadly the design could not be finally implemented due to planning and cost problems), and a whole host of other local people have been involved in rubbish removal, planting and maintenance.

Is the work finished?

No. Whilst the overall structure of the Green is fixed there are a number of projects already identified to enhance the enjoyment of the Green. Some of these are regeneration projects, (such as the pond and some of the hedges) others are new facilities such as small bridges.

Who will carry out this work?

We are lucky to have help from BTCV for many of the larger projects. Their knowledge and expertise is essential in ensuring that the work is carried out to the correct standards. Tasks outside of their expertise will require us to hire in contractors provided we have the funding.

So how is it maintained?

Since the aim of the Millennium Green is to enhance a natural environment rather than create a conventional park, the maintenance needs are low. There is, however still be a need to ensure that grass access paths are maintained, the two meadows given an annual mow, brambles cut back and of course some tree trimming will be inevitable. Some of these tasks are contracted out whilst generally smaller tasks are undertaken by a monthly work parties. A maintenance plan has been prepared that covers both the annual and longer-term aspects.

What about vandals?

The trustees will be seeking funding for replanting of trees that have either been damaged or died of natural causes. Plans are in hand to ensure that graffiti is dealt with if it should occur however planning for malicious breakages is difficult to plan for. We are trying to ensure that local schools are involved and aware of the Green for local use.

When was the Green finished?

The construction and creation work to the main part of the site was completed in the spring of 2002. There are parts of the site that are more environmentally sensitive that we have plans to provide controlled access to once we have obtained suitable funding for the materials involved. The whole Green will take several years for the trees to grow to maturity.

What about the dog mess?

Whilst we have encourage people to use the Green there are still a number of untrained owners who fail to clear up the mess created by their dogs. The Town Council have been very helpful in providing bins at both entrances of the green and we are looking at ways to cost effectively cover the Green itself.

What can I do to help?

We do organise work parties each month and we are always looking for people to come along and help. If you were unable to help physically, we would always welcome donations to assist with maintenance tasks.

Is there any other way I can help?

Yes. Whilst it is nice to have people physically helping we realise this is not always possible. You can join "The Friends of the Uckfield Millennium Green" and tell you friends about us. One long-term way of helping is to remember us in your will. We would always welcome donations, or bequests left in a Will, to assist with the running of the Green.

If you would like more information about leaving a bequest in a Will click here.

Who are "The Friends of the Uckfield Millennium Green"?

This is a group of people who are interested in seeing the Green is a success. They pay a small annual subscription and in exchange receive occasional Newsletters letting them know what is happening including special events. Anybody is free to join and is does give us another small income.

I understand that I can have the ashes of departed relatives scattered on the Green?

Yes. We have recognised that for some people this is a nice place to scatter ashes so that fond memories can be enjoyed at the same time as visiting the Green. In order to satisfy the needs of the Trustees to meet their legal obligations and of the families of the deceased, we have drawn up a policy document that sets out the "rules". If you would like to know more details of this scheme please click here.

What about the ashes of my dog?

If you would like to scatter the ashes of your pet please click here.