The Parish Council is involved in many local initiatives. One such is Sussex Pathwatch and Parish Councillor Peter O'Neill regularly attends its meetings on the Council's behalf.
Peter writes, "Launched in May 2006, Pathwatch is a scheme to encourage reporting of the illegal use by motor vehicles of public rights of way. Supported by West Sussex County Council, Chichester District Council, Sussex Police, and other bodies including the major landowners in the District, the scheme is administered by the South Downs Joint Committee.
The particular focus of Pathwatch is on the improper use of four-wheel drive and other recreational vehicles and motorcycles (trail bikes) on prohibited tracks such as public footpaths and Restricted Byways: one of these is the stretch of the South Downs Way east of Manor Farm and English Woodlands Timber beyond the crossroads at the top of Cocking Hill on the A286.
The Police will only rarely be able to catch offenders at the time, but reports help to track activities by people of whom the Police are often aware. Even if an observer is unable to make a report immediately, it is helpful to submit this as soon as possible afterwards: as much detail as possible should be given, such as vehicle registration nos. (which often prove to have been masked or to be false) and descriptions of the people and vehicles seen. These reports will not incriminate lawful users even if the observer has made a mistake about this: farmers, forestry managers, and others having the specific permission of the landowner may be entitled to use these rights of way. Incidents have occurred where drivers have been mis-directed through inaccurate inclusion of Restricted Byways on Satellite Navigation devices.Both police action and tactful explanations by members of the public to users genuinely ignorant of restrictions have contributed to the reduction of illegal use during the past two and a half years. The Joint Committee has installed well concealed acoustic and magnetic loggers on the South Downs Way on an experimental basis: these record no visual information and cannot identify any specific person or vehicle. The equipment detects ferrous metals – the steel in motor vehicles and most bicycles – and the sounds made by both wheeled and pedestrian traffic. The objective is to record the dates and times of movements from the information stored in the logger and downloaded to a computer for subsequent printing out."