Hasting Country Park Nature Reserve is the largest and most diverse natural green space in Hastings. Owned and managed by Hastings Council, the coastal cliffs and wooded glens provide visitors with some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere in the south east. The Nature Reserve includes a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Area of Conservation and sustainably managed farmland.
With partners Groundwork South we are renewing interpretation, map boards and way markers, throughout the site. Some footpaths have been upgraded to allow easy access and others have benefitted from ongoing improvement. Habitats range from ancient woodland to lowland heath, grazed meadows and coastal cliffs. We work with a range of partners from volunteers to specialist contractors to deliver the management of our site.
Our priority is to provide a high-quality visitor experience and sustainable management of the reserve. A 10-year strategic management plan and our Higher Level Stewardship grant guide all our work at the Reserve. We have introduced Exmoor ponies and rare breed Belted Galloway cattle to roam large areas of the reserve, helping manage inaccessible areas.
With EU grants, the council and Groundwork South have built a new Visitor Centre made from straw bales and sustainable materials. The Bale House has a café and will be a focus for community learning and activities on the site (covid restrictions permitting). The centre is the first public building in Sussex made from straw.
With increased investment and partnerships, the reserve continues to go from strength to strength.