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More about the

The Site

The Site.

The Site

Flimwell Park runs mainly east to west and slopes quite dramatically to the south in a series of ravines away from the Hawkhurst Road. It is bordered to the north by this road, a series of private properties and woodland to the east and south, and to the west by the Woodland Enterprise Centre developed by the trust Woodland Enterprises Ltd. and currently managed by Plumpton College.

The most recent use of the site was as the Flimwell Bird Park which opened in 1989 and attracted visitors with its collection of birds housed in the beautiful, natural landscape. Much of the site was cleared in order to accommodate the Bird Park's ponds, cages and birds, as well as to make space for a visitor's centre with a cafe and offices and parking located at the top of the site. After the closure of the Bird Park, the main building was briefly used as a children's nursery but was subsequently abandoned, to become neglected and overgrown. Prior to that, the land was mainly managed woodland with orchards and a small farm field at the top of the site along the Hawkhurst Road.

The name “Flimwell” gives a strong clue as to why the site is constantly running with water. The bird park utilised this feature by creating a series of ponds and small lakes designed to accommodate waterfowl. 

Despite the impact of years of neglect, Packrapid LTD saw the potential of the site and purchased it in 2001. This was followed by 15 years of detailed planning, consultation, negotiating and redrafting, to ensure that the proposed development respected the history and ensured the sustainability for the site for future generations. Full Planning Permission was received in December 2015.