Sussex Celebrates Summer

18 August 2014, Comments Comments Off on Sussex Celebrates Summer

Big Picnic Event Egg and Spoon RaceThere must be something more than just bacon butties on the menu to bring hundreds of people to a Sussex field for a picnic. A Rocha UK’s partner Steyning Downland Scheme makes sure of that.

Their Big Picnic this year features games, walks, bushcraft activities, tractor rides – and much more. A Rocha UK will be contributing a ‘Wildlife Quiz Trail‘ and an interactive child-friendly presentation.

The annual event will take place at the Old Rifle Range, Mouse Lane, Steyning on 7th September from 12:30-3:30pm. Admission is free, but participants are encouraged to bring their own picnic and rug.

The Steyning Downland Scheme was set up by The Wiston Estate, in partnership with A Rocha UK. A total of 160 acres of chalk downland is devoted to the benefit of wildlife and the local community.

It is an area comprising open grassland, ponds and mixed woodland, known locally as the Horseshoe, and the Rifle Range. ‘This is a project about learning to see well,’ said Steyning Downland team member Richard Goring. ‘The purpose of this project is to encourage us to learn what is happening in the local environment and act from that starting point. Particularly we want to engage young people in understanding the world around them.’

He explained the hope is ‘to foster a meeting of different minds and people, coming together in the pursuit of seeing the everyday miracle of creation and being inspired to hope for the future’.

The Goring family have owned the area since 1743. Current Wiston Estate owners Harry and Pip Goring met A Rocha UK after being inspired by the charity’s values. The Gorings wanted to find a place to put these into action on the estate. So the idea of the Steyning Downland Scheme was born. As part of that wider vision, the Big Picnic attracts the attention of local churches and the press.

A highly creative affair, past Big Picnic events have offered fun dog shows, wacky sports, apple pressing, samba workshops and forest school. All are welcome, and there is no need to book. More information can be obtained from

Comments are closed.