Walk 7: All Saints Church – Rickney Circuit

Distance:                 6½ miles

Time:                         3 hours

Description:            A moderate ramble mainly on the flat Pevensey Levels using bridleways, footpaths, stiles and road. The road section is substantial, but is very quiet with flat verges on each side. Fields may contain livestock. The ground can be muddy in places.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStart at All Saints Church, where there is adequate on-road parking. Walk to the end of the lane and enter Church Farm yard. Continue straight ahead between two farm buildings and follow a wide track as it leaves the farmyard and descends to Pevensey Levels.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The track skirts left around a fenced field. As the path levels out locate the gate on the right(A) and follow the track along the bottom edge of the same field.

You are on the 1066 Country Walk that will take you all the way to Rickney. Keep the field fence on your right for about 100 metres before following the path left as it descends further to a gate. Going through the gate, the track is now bordered by two ditches. The ditches soon become lined with OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtrees. Continue ahead, ignoring the footpath to the right, until you exit the enclosed section into an open field. There is a hedge on the right that at one point juts out into the field. Head for this point and then continue in a straight line for about another 75 metres to the Hurst Haven drain. Turn left here(B) and follow the drain for about two miles as itOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA takes you through the heart of the levels all the way to Rickney. There is an abundance of flora and fauna to be seen as well as farm livestock. Keep your eyes open for kingfishers along the drain and the secretive water rail in the small drains leading off from Hurst Haven. In the air you may well see different raptors searching for a meal.

Passing through a number of fields that border the drain you will see Rickney and the pumping station approaching. As you draw level with the pumping station you will come OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAto a gate(C) that takes you out to a narrow road at Rickney Farm. Turn right and follow the road through the farm and then turn right again shortly after along the quiet road leading towards the ridge of hills ahead. You will follow this road for a little over two miles as in snakes its way north. Once again there is an abundance of wildlife and in the summer you will be accompanied all the way by the scratching chatter of the reed and sedge warblers. If you are lucky you may well hear or even see a cetti’s warbler.

After about a mile the road bears right over a bridge and a short climb over the one “hill” on the levels at Horse Eye. Descend the other side and wind your way towards Lookers Cottage and a small collection of farm buildings. In the fields around the cottage you may well see a barn owl or short-eared owl on a winter’s afternoon. The road bends OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAright by the cottage and left by a small pumping station on the banks of Hurst Haven. Continue for a further fifty metres or so over a brick walled bridge and locate the footpath on the right(D) that follows the drain. If you get as far as the section of road that straightens out in front of you then you have gone too far.

Make your way along the side of the drain. Shortly you will rejoin the main Hurst Haven that leads back to Rickney and beyond. Continue along the waterway until a small drain comes in from the left. Here you will need to turn left through a gate and immediately right to get back to Hurst Haven.

Continue a little further before passing through another gate(E). Turn left here into the open field and make for a gateway highlighted in chalky white. Here the path splits. Turn OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsharp left through a gate. Locate the drain on the right and follow it all the way as it heads towards All Saints church on the hill ahead. The drain becomes a ditch as the ground begins to rise slightly. At the end of the ditch enter the steep field ahead via a stile by a farm gate. Ascend the field diagonally right. Baring your way is a fence. Head for the


gate in the fence and climb over the stile to its left. Take the time to turn round and enjoy the panoramic view of Pevensey Levels before turning back to the church. Skirt round the right side of the field to the churchyard and exit onto the road that fronts All Saints.

If you have time have a stroll around the churchyard and pay a visit to the church and its magnificent Dacre Chapel.