Appeal for witnesses after gate damaged near Ashenground and Bolnore Woods

Police are calling for witnesses after the ‘Great Gate’ was damaged at the entrance to Ashenground and Bolnore Woods, Haywards Heath.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 2:27 pm

Sussex Police said they were called at about 11.10am on Sunday (May 2) about a damaged gate at Keymer End.

“It is thought the damage was caused sometime overnight,” said a police spokesman.

“No lines of enquiry have been identified and the matter has been filed pending any further information coming to light.”

The broken gate at the bottom of Ashenground Road. Picture: Marc Dickson

Police have asked anyone who saw what happened, or anyone with information, to call 101 quoting serial 429 of 02/05.

People can also contact police online at www.sussex.police.uk.

The eight-foot gate was installed in July 2011 during a grand reopening of the bridleway between Ashenground and Bolnore Village.

The route had been closed while developer Crest Nicholson worked to restore the ancient track.

The broken gate at the bottom of Ashenground Road. Picture: Friends of Ashenground and Bolnore Woods

The handmade oak field gate was dubbed the ‘Great Gate’ and marks the entrance to the Ashenground and Bolnore Local Nature Reserve.

At the time, the craftsmen commissioned by Crest Nicholson said it was the largest handmade gate of its type.

They said field gates are normally eight or ten feet wide but the Great Gate is 13 feet wide and eight feet high.

Prince Charles even visited the craftsmen while they built it and said he was ‘very impressed’.