‘Green’ campaigners share their golf course concerns

Environmental campaigners hope the new company running Hollingbury Golf Course will protect the history and ecology surrounding the site.

Last Wednesday (1 April) the Circle (Brighton) took over the course, off Ditchling Road, under its subsidiary the Circle Golf.

The company also runs a health and wellbeing centre in Portslade.

Its proposals include a holistic health centre in the club house, as well as enhancements to the course.

Currently, the course is closed because of the coronavirus lockdown, as is the Circle’s centre in Portslade.

Environmental groups are concerned about protecting the ancient hill fort and woodland on the edge of the site.

The Iron Age hill fort is a scheduled monument and dates back to 450BC.

Concerns have been raised previously about whether the course was encroaching on to the fort.

This was raised by Chris Todd, from Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth, at a council meeting earlier this year.

Members of the Friends of Hollingbury and Burstead Woods have met the new leaseholders to make the case for protecting the surrounding environment.

Brenda Pollock, of the Brighton Downs Alliance, said that environmental and community groups were aware that the new leaseholder wanted to work with them but said: “Everything is up in the air.”

The group is in contact with an archaeologist to try to enure that the whole area is improved beyond the course and that there is more education about its history.

She said: “We want to make sure – before the new owners go down any routes – that they will engage with the community as a whole.

“There are issues with grazing for the management of the download. That’s important within the community of dog walkers.

“They will need to do a lot of engagement and need to be clear how responsible they are.”

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