Herstmonceux Castle students help clean up Cuckoo Trail

16th September

Students from Bader International Study Centre (BISC), based at Herstmonceux Castle, took to the Cuckoo Trail for a litter pick this month.

The ‘clean up’ event, organised in partnership by Wealden District Council and BISC, involved some 120 students who walked along the trail from Horam to Polegate searching for rubbish. The Council organised for their waste contractor Biffa to collect the rubbish from pre-identified drop-off points following the event. In total, six black sacks of rubbish were collected from the nine mile section of the former railway line.

Kayleigh Erickson, Assistant Student Services Manager at Bader International Study Centre, said: “We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to partner with Wealden District Council to create an experiential learning opportunity for our incoming students. Our students come from around the world, so this gave them all a chance to appreciate the beauty within East Sussex and to understand more of the history of the region they have come to learn in.

“It also encouraged them to engage in critical conversations around climate change, and health and wellness as well as learning about the importance of sustainability, of preserving natural spaces, and giving back to the local community. We look forward to continued collaboration with Wealden to find additional volunteering opportunities for our students moving forward.”

The Cuckoo Trail clean-up forms part of an awareness initiative by the Council to highlight the trails existing ‘share with care’ principles to all those who use it. The eight principles ask users to be respectful of each other and their environment:

  • Respect users and neighbours of the trail.
  • Do not leave litter.
  • Clear up after your dog.
  • Keep left, pass on the right.
  • Use safe speeds.
  • Look & listen.
  • Don’t block the path.
  • Use lights at night.

“We hope that by reminding people of these principles, that all users of the Cuckoo Trail can do so in harmony with one another,” said Wealden’s Chairman, Cllr Pam Doodes. “I have visited the trail many times in my capacity of Chairman, and each time have been approached by people concerned about the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. Everyone has the right to use the trail irrespective of whether they do so on foot, by bicycle, or on horseback.

“It’s especially important that cyclists carry a bell and take care not to surprise people. Ring your bell or call out, remembering that many people are hard of hearing or visually impaired. Don’t just assume that they can see or hear you. By following these simple principles, all users can enjoy their surroundings in a way that is respectful to others and the environment.”

More information on the Cuckoo Trail, including full details of the ‘Users Code’ for walkers, cyclists and horse riders, is available on the tourism pages of the Wealden website: http://www.wealden.gov.uk/Wealden/Leisure/Attractions_and_Places_to_Visit/Tourism_Cuckoo_Trail.aspx

Students from Bader International Study Centre (BISC)
Students from Bader International Study Centre (BISC) on the Cuckoo Trail in Hailsham.