Sheffield Park and Garden wins National Lottery support for river restoration project

The River Ouse in Sussex in flood at Sheffield Park
Published : 21 Jul 2017 Last update : 25 May 2018

The National Trust has received £81,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Ouse Restoration project at Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on monitoring and interpreting the biodiversity and history of the section of the Ouse that runs through Sheffield Park and increasing access to the river for local residents and visitors to the site.

The project will enable us to showcase our new river and floodplain restoration works and highlight their importance in the catchment.  Local communities and visitors will have the chance to explore the historic and natural significance of the river; through volunteering, walks and new information panels. There will be better access to the river, with a new bridge connecting National Trust land to the Ouse Valley Way public footpath.

The parkland at Sheffield Park and Garden
The parkland at Sheffield Park and Garden
The parkland at Sheffield Park and Garden

The River Ouse has been dramatically altered over the last two centuries as a result of changes in land use and transport. The Ouse Navigation Act of 1790 involved the straightening and deepening of the river channel and the introduction of a series of locks. Sheffield Park and Garden, together with the Environment Agency, want to address these alterations and restore the natural functioning of the river. There are plans for the remains of an 18th century lock to be carefully recorded and conserved by local volunteer groups, helping increase knowledge on how canals were constructed and on how best to look after these historic features.

Commenting on the award, National Trust Project Manager Emily Long said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players. The natural heritage of the river is going to be greatly improved and we hope that local communities and visitors will enjoy exploring and learning about this beautiful piece of Sussex countryside. By engaging people’s love of the outdoors, we will play our part in securing better outcomes for the countryside - making it again healthy, beautiful and rich in wildlife.”