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.
Recreation Field, Clapham
The recreation field at Clapham is currently held in trust on behalf of all the residents of the village; it includes a small playground with a slide and other play equipment, and '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 the lease. This leaves the Trustees with responsibilities but no funds; Clapham Parish Council has therefore agreed to take over ownership of the land, subject to agreement on the legal details.
The land was given 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. 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 only four Trustees - Mr & Mrs Seth Evans, and Mr & Mrs Keith Preston.
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 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.
Fishing licences for Patching Pond may be obtained from the Worthing and District Piscatorial Society, 01903 764818.
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).