Plans for an extension at Bedelands Nature Reserve in Burgess Hill have been given the green light.
The 11-hectare extension will increase the nature reserve by one-third.
Dominic Moore, chairman of Friends of Burgess Hill Green Circle Network (BHGCN), said: “I’m delighted to confirm that, at last, Bedelands is to officially acquire two new wildflower meadows surrounded by ancient woodland.
“The area extends west to Freeks Lane and north to the River Adur and is 11 hectares in extent, thus increasing the nature reserve by one-third.
“Coincidentally, this matches the projected increase in Burgess Hill’s population after completion of the Northern Arc. This really is a big deal for the wildlife and community of Burgess Hill.
“It has taken me many years of steady pressure to achieve, but the final outcome is entirely due to patient and prolonged good teamwork between myself, Mid Sussex District Council,
Burgess Hill Town Council, Homes England and developers Countryside (UK) Limited. My sincere thanks to all concerned.”
Residents were asked to give their views on the extension in a questionnaire. They were also asked to vote on an adventure trail and zip wire, and the completion of the Green Circle.
Mr Moore said: “The adventure trail is to be included in plans to be drawn-up by landscape architects, covering improvements to the BMX track, new buildings in the small field just north of it, the Sheddingdean Cornerstone Project and all open spaces across the Northern Arc.
"We may have to wait up to a year for this, but it is obviously essential to plan holistically rather than piecemeal.
“The completion of the Green Circle has largely been agreed too, but a few issues still need careful planning, such as crossing Cuckfield Road and Isaacs Lane. This represents a major step forward for Burgess Hill.”
Town council leader Pru Moore said: “This has been a culmination of about three years really hard work, working with the district council and Homes England, who have very kindly decided that they will allocate this land to Bedelands, which means that it is now protected forever."