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Recreation Areas

Footpath in Clapham Woods wih gate leading to sunlit field

In addition to the wonderful walking on the downs and in the woods surrounding both villages, Clapham and Patching have numerous public recreation areas.


Where can I walk?

Here are maps of the footpaths and open access areas for Clapham

Children's Playground, Clapham

Clapham Parish Council successfully secured funding to replace the playground on the Recreation Ground, and to add an 'adult gym' as well.  All the equipment has now been installed  and is available for use.   A disability-friendly access path from The Street has now been added, although it cannot be used until the Chestnut Tree (which has sadly become dangerous) has been felled, since the path goes right underneath the tree.  The Parish Council is looking at options to ensure that small children can't get onto the main road from the footpath at the back of the playground.

Clapham Recreation Ground

The recreation ground at Clapham ('the Rec') is held in trust on behalf of all the residents of the village. 'The Junction' cafe and shop stands in one corner.   In the past the land was let to Arun District Council, who were responsible for grass cutting and other maintenance, and who in turn sub-leased the land on which the temporary building stands.   Unfortunately, due to financial constraints, Arun declined to renew their lease; in 2019 Clapham Parish Council signed a 21-year lease taking on the same responsibilities (except that the cafe/shop corner is now leased directly to Yvette Fisher).   The lease includes permission to replace the children's playground with our lovely new one.

Guidelines for use of the Recreation Ground (revised September 2019)

The land was given as a 'Pleasure Ground' in 1930 by Mrs Gwendoline Somerset (Mr Clem Somerset's great-grandmother) - in exchange for blocking and re-routing a footpath at Clapham Farm - for the perpetual use and enjoyment of the parishioners of Clapham Parish. [Recreation_Ground_Conveyance [pdf] 861KB]   At the time, there were five Trustees (called 'Grantees' initially):  Mrs Somerset's son, the then Rector, and three other residents of the village.  There are now four Trustees - John Morris, Keith Preston, Charlie Smithers and Cliff Tomkins.  

The land has been registered as 'Green Open Space' in the Clapham Neighbourhood Development Plan, which prevents development use.

Clapham Recreation Ground Trust

Sports Field

The sports field surrounding the Village Hall belongs to the residents of both villages, and is managed on their behalf by the Village Hall Management Committee. Sadly, it is no longer used by either the Stoolball Club or the Cricket Club. It can be hired via the Village Hall website, with or without the Village Hall itself;  there is a discount for local residents.

The land has been registered by Patching Parish Council as 'Green Open Space', which prevents development use.


Former BMX track, Clapham Common

The piece of land at the end of Clapham Common was given by the Somerset family to Arun District Council.  There used to be a BMX track there, for the use of children only.  Arun District Council unfortunately decided to remove the equipment as part of their recent round of cuts, and now only maintain the land as a 'woodland area'.  However, it is still available for the use and enjoyment of residents.


The land has been registered as 'Green Open Space' in the Clapham Neighbourhood Development Plan, which prevents development use.

Patching Pond

Fishing licences for Patching Pond may be obtained from the Worthing and District Piscatorial Society, 01903 764818.


Clapham Woods

Clapham Woods are private property and used for shooting in season, although crossed by a network of public footpaths. However, the landowner, Mr Clem Somerset, permits their occasional use by various sporting organisations.

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