Hedgecourt Lake the Estate
Crawley Mariners Yacht Club, which has been in existence since 1963, was founded by sailing enthusiasts working on Crawley's Manor Royal Industrial Estate. The club has always been based at Hedgecourt Lake on the A264 between Crawley and Felbridge. Initially the club leased the water, but when the lake came on the market, the club raised a mortgage and bought it. The sale included a large area of wet lands, now designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Gradual, but steady, development over the life of the club has allowed the activities to be moved away from the original launching area in Mill Lane to a more established base at the West end of the lake. Where members once had to change into and out of their sailing gear in their cars (much harder than sailing itself) the club now boasts an attractive clubhouse with kitchen, toilets and showers. Now that the club has gained ownership of this beautiful stretch of water the Mariners are able to allow other organisations, i.e. Sea Cadets, Scouts, disabled groups etc. to enjoy the facilities of Hedgecourt.
Hedgecourt is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and one of the most important wetland sites remaining in the South-East Surrey, Situated in the upper Eden Brook Valley on alluvial soils underlying Tunbridge Wells sandstones, the site incorporates a range of habitats including woodland, grassland and fen-marginated open water. Hedgecourt Lake is an ancient mill pond resulting from the damming of the river. These habitats support a wide variety of animal life including several locally- distributed beetles (Coleoptera) and a large breeding-bird fauna.
Tuesday Volunteer Work Group
This friendly group made up of male and female members, is open to any club member who would like to join. The group would be happy to welcome any member whatever your skills, and you might even learn some new ones. Work starts anytime from 9..00am depending on your circumstances, with a coffee or tea break mid morning and finishing lunch time again to to suit you. Some members also have lunch at the club before departing. Occasionally we have jobs that take longer than one day. When this happens we ask for volunteers to help with the additional work.
This year, the Tuesday Volunteer Work Group have been busy doing all the maintenance jobs within the clubhouse and the grounds. Currently we are clearing some reeds and willow that has been spreading into the lake, we need to complete this before the bird nesting season starts. We are also improving the social area around the barbeque and intend to provide some new picnic tables. We have a nesting table out on the lake for the Terns, known as the Tern Table that we are renovating. This table is to encourage the Terns away from the sailing area as they get very cross if people get too close when they have young.