The Parish Council, with assistance of considerable grant funding from the Warr Foundation has been able to provide a new entrance and parking at the Stage Field, Silverhill, which will enable better access to this public open space, which will allow more people to enjoy the area with its wonderful views.
Stage Field is an underused historic public open space gifted to the area in 1949 by Colonel T B. Hornblower. The Parish Council took on a 999 year lease of the field in 2010. Situated on one of the highest points in the county, the field has commanding views over the surrounding area along with a rich historical past being the site of the second largest Napoleonic fort in the country and with a 1960’s Royal Observer bunker still in situ, not to mention the area’s connection to the notorious Hawkhurst Gang and murder of customs officer Thomas Carswell.
Although well served by a public footpath access from the road, especially by a vehicle was previously very hazardous. For this reason, the Parish Council obtained planning permission for a new access point with improved visibility and a small parking area.
This has now been completed and has opened up the field for greater access and perhaps more events and activities to be enjoyed by all. Ideas include a football/games area, wildflower meadow and picnic area, along with historical information boards and perhaps a map of the surrounding areas and places of note visible from the field.
The Parish Council is very pleased that that this new and improved access is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) is funded by Defra and the EU. The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD): Europe investing in rural areas.