Back in 1998, we were early for an appointment to view what is now our home. While we waited, we wandered up to the top of the street, just to see what was there.
We found a huge open space, with woods in the distance and views to the South Downs. From the day we moved in, we took daily walks around the playing fields –before we had a dog, our cat used to join us. On a clear day we can see to Firle Beacon in the east and the Jack and Jill windmills in the west. In winter, sparkly cobwebs festoon the thorny hedgerows and maize stubble catches the frost. In spring, we’ve watched lambs playing and calves being born in the fields, while the woods are full of bluebells.
This embroidery shows the district council’s plans to cover the land with 1000 new houses and industrial units – this same land that has provided a reassuring natural rhythm to the days and years. If the fields are built on, we’ll lose more than our view: our connections to the land and seasons will be gone – and with them, what makes this part of Uckfield, our little corner of East Sussex, such a special place to live.
This time last year we fought and won the right to let our dog run off the lead. Unfortunately, at the same time we fought and lost the right to keep the green fields and our view to the South Downs to the developers who want to build 1000 unwanted new homes.
As part of our Embroiderers' Guild regional challenge, we are making a book about our branch and district, with each member doing a piece about where they live - and this is my contribution. When I saw the plan the council had drawn up, with that pink zigzaggy line, I just knew I had to stitch it!