Woolbeding with Redford Parish Council

Links to further information are in bold and are underlined

North of the Downs, near Midhurst, this is a rural parish. In the south there is the sand of the Severals, the water meadows and a stretch of the River Rother in Woolbeding, with Woolbeding House and its beautiful and ancient church, All Hallows.

To the north is the sandstone ridge, with its rare protected heathland, and at this end of the parish is Redford with its Village Hall and green, and the small, simple, 18th century church of St. Lukes, Linch. There is a large area of common land and protected farmlands in the parish, with the vast majority of the land being in the hands of the National Trust

Photo of Redford Village Hall
Photo of Woolbeding Bridge

The whole parish is home to just one hundred and thirty five registered electors (as at 2004). In 1978, as part of the government's review of parish boundaries, the parish was threatened with fragmentation and amalgamation with its neighbours. It was thought important then that the parish should retain its unique identity and have its own voice in local government.

The parish lies entirely within the South Downs National Park (SNDP). Woolbeding Common, including Stedham Marsh, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which boasts an extraordinary combination of rare habitats, so it seems essential that with the pressure of change in the 21st century that this parish should be treated with due respect. 

Part of the estate, particularly the common land, is open to visitors. The increase in visitor numbers, coupled with the growing level of motor traffic through the parish in recent years, is posing a threat to the various rare habitats. At the same time, there has been a decrease in commercial activity, evidenced by the closure of the pub and the Post Office.

The housing stock has not increased in the past decade, but existing dwellings have been enlarged and there is a shortage of so-called starter homes. Large scale residential development in neighbouring parishes will doubtless affect the rural character of the parish.  

Photo of National Trust Information Board on Woolbeding Common

With an evident desire amongst our residents to maintain parish life and activity, we are positive about the future and hope to preserve the character of this parish. We hope that much of the area will remain unrestricted, providing essential recreation for residents and visitors alike.

An extract from the Parish Plan