First riders take on West Sussex pump track after official opening

The first riders have taken on West Sussex pump track after it officially opened.

Councillor Burgess cut the ribbon

At a ceremony today (February 10), Horsham District Council chairman Peter Burgess cut the ribbon on the already popular venue.

Despite the cold weather, an enthusiastic crowd gathered at the track, the first in the Horsham District, for the Highwood Village Community day.

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Councillor Burgess cut the ribbon

?Councillor Burgess said: "I think it's brilliant. I think it will be very well used. You can see by the number of people that are here.

"What you will find as it grows, other things will come here."

There was demo bikes for people to ride and people of all ages took to the track for some winter fun.

Chairman of Horsham Denne Neighbourhood Council, Trudie Mitchell, added: "It's fantastic. They have done really well. We have seen this from when it was just a level pack of ground.

Councillor Burgess works on the sculpture

"It's going to be a great success. It's just such an unusual project for Horsham"

A pump track is a type of off-road terrain for bike riders consisting of a circuit of banked turns and features.

It designed to be ridden without pedalling, riders ‘pump’ the features using the up and down movement of their body to make forward momentum.

Jon Edgar, Ben, 9 and Gruffalo number five

The pump track will join tracks in Angmering, Crawley and Selsey in offering an inclusive, accessible route into BMX and mountain biking. To visit the track use post code RH12 1FF.

The event also marked the beginning of an exciting new art installation.

Artist Jon Edgar began to sculpt and carve a seven tonne stone and using input from residents and passers-by to contribute to the carving.

The carving, part of the Horsham District Year of Culture, is set to be worked on throughout 2019.

Jon said: "This is a seven tonne piece of Portland stone and over the course of the year I think we want this to start to take some of the feeling that is in this local area.

"I'll be looking at the heritage and this history of what's been on this site before. This will be being carved through the whole of 2019."

Jon told how as more of the community get involved the project will become more exciting.

Residents joined Jon in making the first chisel marks on the stone, including Gruffalo number five of the 20 travelling creatures.