Occasionally we look back at stories we’ve run in the past to see how they turned out. It’s not often there’s a happy ending but there has been in the case of Cissbury Ring, Sussex.
Exactly three years ago we ran a story about a protest by hundreds of people on land near the Iron Age hill fort in a bid to stop it being sold by the council and to keep it in public ownership.
A South Downs Society spokesman explained there was strong feeling and a “massive turnout” by people who had vowed to fight on until the land was fully protected for generations to come.
It worked. The Council changed their mind and the land was kept in public ownership. Better still, the ‘Stop the Cissbury Sell off’ campaign was changed into a volunteer organisation aiming to act as a public watchdog or ‘defender’ of the local countryside, known as The Worthing Downlanders …..
As they say on their website:
“Worthing Downlanders are an organisation dedicated to supporting and defending the ownership and control of all Worthing Council’s existing downland estate, and supporting the management of this downland estate for public purposes, free of built development.
These public purposes include: the maximum open public access to all this land, the enhancement of the wildlife resources of this land, especially with a view to restoration of the damaged down pasture mantle, and supporting sustainable farming initiatives.
Worthing Downlanders will also be supporting all campaigns to save any green belt land from development.”
(We’re always on the look out for similar good news stories. If you know of one please drop us a line).