Help shape the future of our countryside

An early start certianly paid off this weekend, this photograph was taken at Firle Beacon looking NE across the Sussex Weald. Visability was very good despite the mist hugging the valley floor, the ridge of hills in the far distance is the North Downs. SUS-140212-161105003

An early start certianly paid off this weekend, this photograph was taken at Firle Beacon looking NE across the Sussex Weald. Visability was very good despite the mist hugging the valley floor, the ridge of hills in the far distance is the North Downs. SUS-140212-161105003

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Groups and individuals involved in the countryside and rights of way are being urged to take part in a survey to help shape plans for the future of the East Sussex countryside.

Landowners, community and voluntary leaders and cycling and walking groups are among those targeted by a ‘stakeholder survey’ being carried out by East Sussex County Council.

The survey asks participants for their views on a number of issues relating to the 10 countryside sites and 2,000 miles of footpaths, bridleways and byways in the county.

The results, along with feedback from a separate questionnaire aimed at residents and visitors to the countryside, will help the council to draw up plans for how sites and services are managed in the future.

More than 600 people have so far responded to both surveys, but the council is keen to hear from as many people as possible before the deadline of Friday, February 20.

Cllr Carl Maynard, county council lead member for transport and environment, said: “We have had a great response to the surveys but are keen to hear the views of as many people as possible.

“This way, we can ensure that any decision taken on the future of these sites is the best decision for people that use the countryside sites and rights of way.

“I would urge as many people as possible to take part and help inform decisions we make in the future.”

The results of the surveys, and feedback from meetings will help the council formulate its long-term plans for the countryside.

The proposals will be subject to public consultation in the summer, while a final plan will be agreed in December 2015.

Surveys can be found at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/shapingthefuture.