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Recreation Ground

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Pavilion, Tennis Courts and Play area are closed for the forseeable future. The open area of the Rec. remains accessible for exercise but you are urged to comply with Government restrictions regarding keeping a safe distance from others.

Coronavirus. Latest update Information


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Cuckmere Community Bus route 41
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Welcome to the East Dean and Friston Parish Council website. We hope that you enjoy browsing it and finding out more about our village and its council. We always welcome feedback from our site visitors, so if you have any comments or suggestions for improvements then please let us know via the "Contact Us" link.

What's new?

Coronavirus: The Parish Council and volunteer groups are currently carrying out plans to deal with an outbreak in the village. They are also planning to support individuals and families having to self-isolate because of the virus. Government policy is changing daily but we are trying to keep up to date. Details will be posted on this website (see below), sent to those on the Council email alert list and posted on noticeboards and leaflets around the village. The latest leaflet, distributed with April's Parish Magazine, can be found here. Any residents not on the Council email list are strongly recommended to join by contacting the Parish Clerk on  In the meantime, if you want more information, you can find it on the NHS website:  or by clicking here.

Latest Update - 27th March 2020

·     Urgent Appeal - We have received an appeal from a local NHS worker for all East Dean and Friston residents to remain isolated from groups outside their home. You can read the appeal in full here.

Video council meeting - It is the intention of East Dean and Friston Parish Council to hold an informal meeting remotely but with public contributions on the evening of Thursday 2nd April 2020 at 7.30 pm – the same date as normal, but an hour later.   It is intended that the meeting will convene using Google Zoom, if practicable. Residents who wish to contribute are invited to send written submissions to the clerk in advance (by email to, to be noted by the council as if there were a Public Session. The meeting will not take decisions on new business, as it cannot comply with the statutory requirement that council meetings be held in person and in public. However, an informal agenda and reports will be published on the website in the usual way, not later than Monday 30th March 2020.

The play area – the East Dean play area has now been closed and padlocked following the government’s directive. This will of course be kept under review. The recreation ground will remain open and maintained, and residents will be welcome to use it for exercise, following the rule on social distancing and remembering that gatherings of more than two people (not in the same family) are not permitted during the emergency.

 ·     Wealden Citizens Advice continues to be there to help in this time of national crisis. Whilst all face to face contact has been suspended, clients can continue to access the service through Adviceline on 0300 330 9022 and the Text facility.

·      Volunteering to help – Wealden District Council has a web page through which you can volunteer to help the NHS or the wider community. You can find it here:

Recycling centresall of the county council’s household waste and recycling centres are now closed until further notice.

Household waste collections – Wealden District Council has suspended their bulky waste collection service temporarily and is not taking new bookings. They are also suspending the collection of garden waste from Monday 30th March. Don't be tempted to fly tip. Fly tipping is an offence and offenders will be prosecuted.

Dog walking – if you are local and currently unable to walk your dog due to self-isolating, Ian Kerr will be happy to do it for you (422256)

Cuckmere Bus Service 41 - it has been necessary to reduce the timetable as fewer people are moving around. There will be no Tuesday service until further notice. On Thursdays:

a)    the first bus will be in the village some 15 minutes earlier than normal, and arrive in Eastbourne at 1050 hours

b)    there will be no change to the first return bus - leaving Eastbourne at 1140 hours

c)    the second return bus is now cancelled (it did leave Eastbourne at 1450 hours)

d)    This will allow passengers up to 50 minutes in Eastbourne (arrive 1050, depart 1140)

East Sussex bus operators and community transport providers are no longer able to run full services due to staffing difficulties and massively reduced passenger numbers. This is a very fast changing situation so the county council are providing updates on their website page:

Older persons and disabled persons free travel bus passes in East Sussex are now being accepted at all times. This is to assist holders to access food shopping and services.

Libraries these are also closed until further notice. However, the return date on all current loans is being extended until at least 30 June, so no one has to worry about overdue library books or other items, and the county library service has scrapped fines for any items that were due to be returned after 9 March 2020. The online library will of course operate as normal and the number of items available online has been increased. The e-library can be accessed via, and includes not just books but also audiobooks, magazines and reference material.

Wealden District Council is still fully operational but if you need to contact them please use the website and/or email as the primary way of contacting them. Posted communication is now strongly discouraged as most officers are working from home and if there is a full lock down resulting in an office closure, then post will not be opened for that period of time.

The Parish and its Council


The Parish of East Dean and Friston is located between the south coast towns of Seaford and Eastbourne, situated on the southern edge of Wealden District in the County of East Sussex and within the South Downs National Park. It is a relatively large rural area, comprising the village of East Dean and Friston, together with the smaller hamlets of Birling Gap and Crowlink. The A259 main coast road passes through the Parish with the old village to the south and the newer parts of the village (known as the "Downlands Estate") to the north. The Parish is primarily residential, covers an area of 3.3sq miles and consists of some 760 households with a population of around 2,200. 

East Dean Village is centred around the Village Green with its war memorial, medieval church and long-established inn, “The Tiger”. To the North-West of the village, as the A259 ascends Friston Hill, is the area known as Friston, which was originally a separate village with its own church at the top of the hill.

Birling Gap is a coastal hamlet with a long shingle beach, backed by the famous Seven Sisters cliffs and not far from Beachy Head. The Birling Gap visitor centre and cafe, and some of the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust.

Crowlink is a small hamlet grouped around a manor house; in the 18th century it was a haven for smugglers of Gin that became known as "Genuine Crowlink". It was also once the home of the Edwardian author, Edith Nesbit, whose best-known work is “The Railway Children”.

Parish Councils were formed in England under the Local Government Act 1894 to take over local oversight of civic duties in rural towns and villages. Before this date a variety of groups based around ecclesiastical (church) parishes had responsibility for these matters, in a system of local government that originated in the feudal system of the 8th century. The establishment of Parish Councils effectively separated church from state and today's councils are totally secular in nature and independent from the Parochial Church Councils that deal with the administration of the local Church of England places of worship.

Following the 1894 Act, both East Dean and Friston began Parish Meetings (not council meetings) and East Dean then formed a Parish Council in 1924. The Friston Parish Meeting merged with East Dean to form the East Dean and Friston Parish Council in 1948.

Parish Councils are the first tier of local government and have limited variable tax raising powers. The component part of the Council Tax, which comes to the Parish Council, is known as the Precept.
Parish Councils are responsible for areas known as civil parishes, and there are approximately 9,000 Parish Councils in England. East Dean and Friston is one of those civil Parishes. Although there is nothing to prevent Parish Councils being political in nature, the current East Dean and Friston PC members are all independent of any party political sponsorship. The current Parish Council was elected in 2019 and is due for re-election in May 2023.