Return to Beaney’s Lane

Finding myself with (at least) a couple of hours to kill at the Conquest Hospital last week, I took my Third Walk Ever down the ancient lane that runs alongside, up from Hastings, over The Ridge, thence down towards Westfield. Accounts of my two previous visits, from 2011 & 2018 are below:

Yeakell & Gardner 1778-83

Certain things have not changed: the derelict industrial site remains, albeit a bit more overgrown, as do the piles of concrete lying the far side of the lane.

But the entrance to the lane itself is less fortified, the protected status of the SSSI woodland is clearly signalled (repeatedly ) and the trash has been cleared.

So it’s now a nice historic lane, similar to that to the west of Beauport park, with a huge embankment on its eastern flank and an outgrown Hornbeam hedge on the other side.

What’s different though, since those earlier posts, is the significance the wood has acquired in supplying the Sweet Chestnut cladding for Rye Harbour Discovery Centre.

In harvesting the Chestnut, the woodland has been opened up to sunlight, under which the regrowth has provided habitat for a wide range of insects and birds. InWood have used a very economical technique if finger-jointing, seen in the photo below, which securely connects even quite small lengths of timber so that little is wasted.


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