The Millennium Green, Uckfield.

Walker picks sloes to make gin

The Uckfield Millennium Green at Ridgewood is the perfect place for a peaceful Sunday afternoon meander, writes The Ambler.

On the day I went there were one or two dog walkers, a couple picking sloes ready for the gin they like to have at Christmas and a mum and children with plastic containers harvesting some other treat.

There were still blackberries about and it might be worth returning to pick some but that must be before the end of September because an old saying is that ‘the devil spits on them’ on the last day … I guess they don’t taste as good after that.

Two tiny children, closely supervised by adults, were prodding about in the cracks in the bed of a dried out pond. Were they bulrushes growing in the middle?

There are seats dotted around the green but most tempting was one backing on to a wall on the site of the remains of a building belonging to the days when clay was extracted from the land. Pictures from the past are attached to the wall, amazing to think this was once an industrial site.

The view from that wall bench is lovely, the land drops away and then rises again in front of you.

Eight noisy magpies were playing in the middle distance and we said the old rhyme … one for sorrow, two for joy … but I don’t think it goes as far as eight.

To the left is a ring of trees. There are 12 oaks in three circles which are expected to outlive other trees within the group. The were planted to celebrate the year 2000.

Uckfield people, assisted by Uckfield Town Council and East Sussex County Council, created the millennium green by taking advantage of the Countryside Agency’s initiative to use National Lottery money to establish Breathing Spaces – the inspiration for the title of our feature which looks at Uckfield’s green areas – for communities all around the country.

Read more about the history of the Uckfield Millennium Green at: http://bit.ly/F27HH

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