History of the Group

We are one of Ferring’s largest organisations with well over 900 members. Membership costs just £1 per year per person. Our main aim is to conserve the unique Ferring environment.

The Group started in 1988 – campaigning against a proposal to build an indoor sports facility on the Little Twitten recreation ground. That proposal was thankfully abandoned, but there have been many campaigns since that time  – some we have won but sadly some we have lost. We are possibly again going to have to fight plans by housebuilders Persimmon Homes to build up to 1100 homes in both sections of the Goring Gap between Ferring and Goring, although at this time, no planning application has been submitted.

We CAMPAIGN against over development and the destruction of open spaces, trees, wildlife and the character of Ferring. We STUDY the local wildlife. We carry out PRACTICAL WORK in the Ferring Rife area, the beach and other open spaces. We hold MONTHLY MEETINGS where we have speakers on national and regional conservation issues, and discuss what is going on locally. We organise TRIPS and GUIDED WALKS with a conservation theme.

Our campaigning against over development focuses on:

  1. The Goring Gap which is under the threat of large scale house building, which would destroy it as a habitat and change the landscape for ever
  2. The Kingston/ East Preston Gap where developers have been trying for years to put non-agricultural businesses and more housing on open countryside
  3. The area north of Littlehampton Road and east of Hangleton Lane where they have been trying to do the same
  4. The village itself, where some developers purchase a property and attempt  to knock it down and replace it with two or more new properties, or simply build another in the existing back garden

We object to all unsuitable planning applications, and  encourage the Parish Council to do so, as well as local residents.

The study of local wildlife – we have members who are very knowledgeable on birds, insects, amphibians, trees, wild flowers and other topics. We have carried out habitat surveys across Ferring, but especially in the following areas:

  1. Ferring Rife, which has been designated as a Site of Nature Conservation Interest – water voles, little egrets, kingfishers, snipe, many wild flowers including rare orchids
  2. Highdown – skylarks, butterflies, insects and various wild flowers
  3. Goring Gap – vitally important roost for many thousands of birds, as well as a passage for migrants
  4. Ferring Beach – various waders, sea life and a site for Vegetated Shingle Plants

Practical work: we carry our regular beach cleans, as well as cleaning the banks of the Rife. We have planted and maintain many hundreds of native trees along both banks of the Rife to eventually provide a wildlife corridor. We have installed many nest boxes across the village as a project with the local community. We assist in maintaining parts of the Village Green, and have consructed a medieval herb bed there. We have planted up with native plants and maintain the raised shingle beds on Pattersons Walk, as well as the boat in Sea Lane. We are also involved in the maintenance of the historic Warren Pond in partnership with Ferring Parish Council who own it. We have also planted a Community Orchard at the Glebelands recreation ground which consists of a considerable number of Sussex heritage apple trees, as well as other fruit trees.

Meetings and Social: we hold meetings in the Village Hall on the last Friday of each month – at 2.30pm from September to March, and at 7.30pm in May, June and July. There is no meeting in December, and in August, we hold our annual Summer Social. The AGM takes place at the April meeting. Admission is £2 for members and £3 for visitors, and this includes refreshments. As well as the visiting speaker, we also have a local planning update and a Nature Notes presentation. Details of upcoming speakers are found elsewhere on this website.