Knockhatch Ski and Snowboard Centre near Hailsham reopens

ENGLAND is hardly famous for its skiing industry and most skiers jet off on Alpine adventures for the Christmas season.

But South Wealden District, which boasts all sorts of leisure activities and historical places of interest, has a unique advantage – boasting one of the few dry ski slopes in the country.

Knockhatch Ski and Snowboard Centre near Knockhatch Adventure Park closed down in September to allow for a refurbishment with a £125,000 facelift creating a ‘play grass’ mat for its 360ft slope.

The centre, based off the A22 west of Hailsham, will be reopening on December 3 with the new mat. It is the only surface in the UK to have a British standard on it for safer surfacing.

Colin Jaggers, managing director, said: “Everyone at Knockhatch Ski and Snowboard Centre is very excited to have this new ‘play grass’ matting with the British standard on it for safer surfacing.

“We cannot wait to re-open the Ski Centre and start welcoming the customers again.”

The special facility includes a nursery slope, a main slope, two drag lifts, a toboggan hill and a new ringo run. The Centre will also run set free-style nights.

Everyone is welcome to attend the grand re-opening from 10am to 6pm on December 3 and 4. Businesses involved in the skiing trade will be there.

Equipment can be provided for both boarders and skiers at the Centre. Lessons can be booked and groups are welcome – including adults, families, those with disabilities and schools.

Play Grass is a continuous carpet, according to Knockhatch, which does not have voids used in other dry slopes which can break wrists and fingers. Bristles on the surface are also not so rigid allowing for a softer effect if a skier falls on the carpet. It is also mist lubricated for a better performance.

The ski centre was first opened in 2001.