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25 miles from Gatwick, 13 miles from Brighton, 5 miles from Shoreham Port

Archive for the ‘Environmental News’ Category

Tottington Woodlanders – Grand Day Out

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

With over 500 visitors to the small patch of ancient woodland in Small Dole, the Tottington Woodlanders 25th anniversary was their most successful event to date.

Dan, Toby and Tookie the wonder-horse, provided their rapt audience with a show to remember. Dragging unfeasibly cut large trees from the woodland glades to the one-man-saw-mill to be converted to pristine planks was amazing to behold. The difference in skills required and the gentle way in which Tookie steadily got the job done compared with the modern machinery methods was lovely to see. Her hoof prints in the forest floor were not a danger to flora and fauna in the same way caterpillar tracks would have been.


The main display area showed us Forest Knights with longbow making and survival crafts, Besom broom making by Arthur Haffenden, Ian Swain and his traditional tools and sharpeners, Pete Brown and his turned items (my daughter is the proud owner of a beautiful wooden mushroom thanks to him), Mike Gordon and his pole lathe, Richard Bingham and his beautiful hand made trugs (Also now in residence with the tiny mushroom), Ken Wood and his walking sticks, Paul Matthews making hurdles, Michael Blencowe with the Sussex Wildlife Trust and last but not least, Ken Hempleman and his leather goods stall. The array of skills and traditional methods on offer was interesting, diverse and a feast for the eyes.

We also enjoyed some amazing ginger cake thanks to Pauline and her hard working team of tea-makers and cake-dispatchers, and I’m told the sausages on Little Lotmans were delicious. I tried the homemade tomato chutney on a cheese roll and it was the best I had ever had.

Finally, it would be re-miss of me not to mention the guided tours given by Malcolm – the chair of the Tottington Woodlanders. At one point he was surrounded by all sides on three generations of Mackleys and despite this he remained unruffled, entertaining and informative – even when we all had to shelter under a large acorn tree to avoid the worst of a downpour. We learnt about the oldest tree in the woods, the ancient art of coppicing and why it is so crucial to the survival of the woods, the hedge laying at the boundaries, the butterfly glade, the threats to the woodland and it’s future. It was fascinating and moving to hear the work that goes in to keeping those trees, and the wildlife that relies on them, healthy and happy.


The Woodlanders are a small, hard working group of dedicated nature lovers, without whom the woods would be a brambly, dark, shadow of their current selves. They always need support and volunteers, so even if you couldn’t come and see the fruits of their labours on their special day, if you would like to find out more then there are other ways to get involved.

They meet on Sundays over the Winter months to do brush clearing and burning, coppicing and all sorts of other general work that the woods demand. Its convivial, welcoming and a great way to get the children off a screen and enjoy some fresh air. (If you’re very lucky, Pauline may even make ginger cake to go with the fire side tea.)

To find out more check out the website and the Facebook page



Mayoral Charity Bike Ride

Friday, April 21st, 2017

This Sunday April 23rd will see the completion of the Mayor’s 52mile charity bike ride around the boundary of the UNESCO Sussex Downs Biosphere. Mackleys Industrial Estate is proud to be donating to this good cause that combines raising awareness of the array of safe and interesting cycle routes around the downs, with supporting a number of local charities close to all of our hearts.

So far 120 cyclists have entered and will be pedaling alongside Brighton and Hove’s Mayor Cllr Pete West to raise money for the 27 mayoral charities including the Martlets, Sustrans, Cruse Bereavement Care and many, many more worthy local causes.

The ride starts and finishes on Hove lawns and is roughly circular.  After heading east along the seafront cycle lane and Undercliff Walk, riders follow the A259 to Newhaven before heading north to Lewes and then Cooksbridge.  After a quick refreshment stop at Beechwood Hall riders head west to Ditchling, Clayton and Hurstpierpoint before cycling to Woods Mill, headquarters of the Sussex Wildlife Trust for another refreshment stop.

After Woods Mill, riders head south through Small Dole, Upper Beeding and Bramber before crossing the A27 at Shoreham and using the old Toll Bridge to cross the River Adur.  Then they follow National Cycle Network route 2 back to Hove where the finish will be on Hove Lawns (where riders started out from).

The road ride is a medium distance ride with hills but as it is largely skirting around the edges (of the Downs) it avoids the worst of them.

There is also a parallel family ride for younger or more inexperienced cyclists who do not want to do the full 52 miles. See details here

The ride is fully supported with an emergency phone number, mechanical support, First Aid and help if you or your bike breaks.  There are two water stops where refreshments are free.  At the start / finish, there is a cafe where refreshments can be bought with public toilets nearby.  There is lots of parking (charges apply) on and around the seafront.


For more information, to sponsor a rider or to register your own interest please follow the link:



Tottington Woodlanders Anniversary Celebrations

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

A Heavy Horse Logging and Woodland Crafts Day

Where : Tottington Woods in Small Dole, West Sussex, BN5 9XE
When: Saturday August 19th 2017.
Time: Gates Open 11.00am until 4.00pm

In celebration of 25years of looking after Tottington Woods in order to keep it in good heart for the benefit of the indigenous flora and fauna (as well as the surrounding human population), the Tottington Woodlanders are organising a one-off event on the 19th August 2017.

Daniel Brown will be bringing one of his lovely heavy horses to haul out trees that were felled during the thinning process to reduce the top canopy. Woodlouse Industries is setting up their sawmill in the wood to process the trees on site so visitors will be able to see the whole process. (Note that no actual tree-felling will be taking place because of the obvious safety factors.)

In addition there will be a number of practitioners of various traditional woodland crafts demonstrating and selling their produce – pole-lathe turning, hand-carving, walking stick making, hurdle making, etc. There will also be a demonstration of creating sculpture from “brash” (Hazel sticks and off-cuts). Sussex Wildlife Trust and the renowned wildlife photographer and expedition leader, David Plummer, will also be there. It will be a lovely day to come along and enjoy watching these skilled craftsmen/women at work.
Catering outlets will be on site and should be able to satisfy most dietary requirements using locally sourced Sussex produce.

So come along and enjoy a traditional day out in the beautiful Tottington Woods, locally renowned for its woodland flowers, particularly bluebells in season.

Environmental Management Systems

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

The Industrial Estate has recently renewed the environmental insurance policy that protects the estate in the event of a pollution accident. With fines of up to £50,000 and a potential jail term associated with willful damage to the water course or contamination of land, it has become a focus of ours to ensure the estate is “clean” from the top down. Not only does this help to protect us and our tenants from any unfortunate accidents but it also ensures the estate remains a beautiful place to work that enhances the local environment (and enjoys good relations with it’s neighbours!)

Unfortunately, most pollution doesn’t happen in a dramatic and obvious way but over a long period of time due to small leaks, or poor environmental management policies. As with most areas of life, prevention is much more straight froward than cure. The costs associated with sorting a problem, even if it has been caused through benign neglect (the odd inappropriate disposal of paint or chemicals, the odd fuel leak that gets carried to a drain) can be enormous and in all cases, would end up back with the organisation or person that caused the initial contamination. Our insurance enables us to respond quickly and provides a small safety net but ultimately the costs of any clear up reside with the perpetrator of the pollution.

There is an Environmental Spill Procedure in place at Office 7a and the required kit to help contain any chemical or fuel spillages are housed at various points on the estate. If you suspect a spill or leak then please call the office on 01273 495450 so we can get involved in dealing with it before it becomes a serious issue.

The Eclipse, the Spring and No Vacancies

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Today was the Spring Equinox in England and also the day it was possible to see a total lunar eclipse (but only if you live in Svalbard or the Faroe Isles).

To be fair, neither of these incredible astrological events had much impact on Small Dole. There was an absence of sunlight, not only due to the eclipse but also due to the heavy cloud we are experiencing. It wasn’t so much that we were plunged in to darkness, more that someone had bled all of the colour from the view. The temperature also dropped slightly, but not enough to stop Spring, or to stop Norman from cracking on with the planting.

As well as enjoying the chance to see the very mechanics of the universe in action we are also currently enjoying a period of full occupancy on the estate. Not quite as unusual as an equinox or an eclipse but noteworthy all the same!

Happy Spring to all of our tenants, new and established, and we look forward to next few lovely weeks when the moorhen chicks hatch, the pond springs in to life and the fruits of Norman’s hard labour burst forth.


Eclipse pictures 2015