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Arun Parish

Recreation areas

In addition to the wonderful walking on the downs and in the woods surrounding both villages, Clapham and Patching have numerous public recreation areas


Former BMX track, Clapham Common

The piece of land at the end of Clapham Common was given by the Somerset family to Arun District Council.  There used to be a BMX track there, for the use of children only.  Arun District Council unfortunately decided to remove the equipment as part of their recent round of cuts, and now only maintain the land as a 'woodland area'.  However, it is still available for the use and enjoyment of residents.

The land has been registered as 'Green Open Space' in the Clapham Neighbourhood Development Plan, which prevents development use.


Recreation Field, Clapham

The recreation field at Clapham is currently held in trust on behalf of all the residents of the village; 'The Junction' cafe and shop stands in one corner.   In the past the land was let to Arun District Council, who were responsible for grass cutting and other maintenance, and who in turn sub-leased the land on which 'The Junction' stands.   Unfortunately, due to financial constraints, Arun have declined to renew their lease; as part of the winding up of their lease they have also been required to remove the children's play equipment, which was nearing the end of its safe life.   The end of ADC's lease leaves the Trustees with responsibilities but no funds;  Clapham Parish Council has therefore agreed in principle to take over ownership of the land (and has tasked a Councillor with investigating options for replacing the play equipment), but this is on hold until the legal details of the tenancy for the current shop and cafe are clarified.

The land was given as a 'Pleasure Ground' in 1930 by Mrs Gwendoline Somerset (Mr Fitzroy Somerset's grandmother) - in exchange for blocking and re-routing a footpath at Clapham Farm - for the perpetual use and enjoyment of the parishioners of Clapham Parish. [Recreation_Ground_Conveyance [pdf] 861KB]   At the time, there were five Trustees (called 'Grantees' initially):  Mrs Somerset's son, the then Rector, and three residents of the village.  There are now four Trustees - John Morris, Keith Preston, Charlie Smithers and Cliff Tomkins.  

The terms of the Trust state that 'the demised land shall not be used for any purpose other than as a playing field or public open space for the benefit of the parishioners of Clapham Parish'. The intentions of the original Trust will be maintained in the new ownership documents.

The land has been registered as 'Green Open Space' in the Clapham Neighbourhood Development Plan, which prevents development use.


Sports Field

The sports field surrounding the Village Hall belongs to the residents of both villages, and is managed on their behalf by the Village Hall Management Committee. Sadly, it is no longer used by either the Stoolball Club or the Cricket Club. It can be hired through the Bookings Secretary, with or without the Village Hall.

The land has been registered by Patching Parish Council as 'Green Open Space', which prevents development use.


Patching Pond

Fishing licences for Patching Pond may be obtained from the Worthing and District Piscatorial Society, 01903 764818.


Clapham Woods

Clapham Woods are private property and used for shooting in season, although crossed by a network of public footpaths. However, the landowner, Mr Fitzroy Somerset, permits their occasional use by various sporting organisations such as Southdowns Orienteers and Elite Action Games Worthing (combat games).


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