Peasmarsh Neighbourhood Development Plan 2021-39

Protecting Our Environment

Peasmarsh has some very particular areas which are environmentally sensitive. As part of developing our NDP we will identify them and justify their protection. The environment is high on the planning agenda with the new Environment Bill which will soon be made law. The Bill will make provision about targets, plans and policies for improving the natural environment.

The natural environment can be used to :

  • produce food and timber
  • improve water quality
  • reduce flooding and soil erosion
  • improve air quality
  • sequester carbon
  • restore and enhance biodiversity and nature
  • increase pollination
  • improve our health and make us feel better

We have begun this process using the open-source [publicly available] data available and cross referencing with the work of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty [AONB] in which we lie.

Land quality : 83% (1,318 ha) of the parish is grade 3 agriculture and food production land with a small area (44ha) of grade 2 down by the River Rother. Grade 3 land is about half of the total agricultural land in England. It is moderately good soil for agriculture that has moderate limitations that affect the choice of crops to be grown, timing and type of cultivation, harvesting or yield.

Habitats : almost a third of the parish is a priority habitat, distributed as in the table and map to the right. [A larger scale version of the map is available as a 920 kB pdf file : hover over the map and left click, your browser should open the file in a new tab.]

Ha.% of Parish
Lowland Heath20.1%
Traditional Orchard70.5%
No Main Habitat but Additional Habitats Present191.2%
Good Quality, semi-Improved Grassland231.4%
Coastal and Floodplain Grazing Marsh1177.4%
Deciduous Woodland32720.7%
All Priority Habitats49531.3%


We are helped in protecting our environment because the parish is part of the High Weald AONB. We also have designated ancient woodlands which have special status but there are no designated sites of special scientific interest in our Parish.


peasmarsh countyside


peasmarsh habitats

The High Weald was designated as an AONB) in 1983. It is one of 46 AONBs within Britain and hence part of a family of protected landscapes that includes National Parks and Heritage Coasts. AONBs are designated by Government to ensure that the conservation and enhancement of the landscape is given high priority.

Peasmarsh is entirely within the AONB – and 83% of Rother is inside it too. That means that all of our houses and gardens are within the area : so is it possible to protect ‘the AONB parts of the parish’ or the ‘green belt’? Unfortunately, under current legislation, AONB’s are not safe from future development although Rother District Council does have an obligation :

‘to ensure that any [development] proposals have regard for the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the AONB’

Nonetheless, there are things that we can do and the high approval scores achieved in the First Public Consultation confirmed that these areas were important to you :

Open Spaces :94%
Paths / Public Rights of Way :91%
Wildlife and Habitats :94%
The Views :93%
Tranquillity :93%

There are various ways we can incorporate these into the Neighbourhood Development Plan and we welcome your thoughts – what & where?

A few ideas :

  • Community tree planting schemes
  • Restored and new habitats
  • Nature based learning /activities
  • More connectivity for habitats and biodiversity but also for safe, accessible leisure routes for walking, cycling, and riding

Please get in touch - you can use the 'Contact Us' menu item on the left.