Picture Gallery: From the village feature on Harting

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WITH an area bordered by the South Downs and the River Rother, Harting is not just lovely in scenery, but lively in events, too.

South Harting is the main settlement of Harting Parish, which encompasses West Harting, East Harting and Nyewood to the north.

North of the Downs and bordered by the River Rother, South Harting lies between Midhurst and Petersfield.

The area boasts the beautiful grounds of Uppark – the stunning house and gardens which were rescued after a major fire in 1989.

For the outdoors type, Uppark offers breathtaking views, and is home to the brown hare, red fox, wild flowers, lichen and bats.

The White Hart pub re-opened its doors last November following an extensive renovation and local vicar, the Rev Mark Morton, was on hand to help mark the occasion by blessing the inn.

It was taken over by the Upham Ale Company, which kept all the original fireplaces intact so as to ‘retain the pub’s character and charm’.

Chris Philips, director of Upham Ale Company, said: “We’ve worked hard to ensure the pub represents the best of the area, including food and drink, and look forward to a long future as part of the community.”

At St Mary and St Peter Parish Church, all ages are catered for, with plenty of exciting events for the coming year.

Assistant priest The Rev Peter Grigsby said: “This is a really good, friendly church to belong to.

“A lot goes on here and we try to do a lot of things, especially for children.”

And Harting offers an education with a difference. At the CofE Primary School, the spectacular Harting roundhouse project was officially unveiled last July.

The whole community got involved and celebrated the effort, time and dedication it took to complete the outstanding piece of craftsmanship, constructed by eco-building company the Roundwood Timber Framing Company Limited, under the direction of manager Ben Law.

A completely organic structure, it was built with Sussex-sourced materials and paid for by grants and donations from Chichester District Council, the National Lottery and the South Downs National Park.

Johnny Culley, headteacher at South Harting Primary School, was one of the forerunners behind the roundhouse project.

“The structure is a resource for the community, which can be used by local youth and village groups and hired for private use by individuals,” he said.

“At the primary school, we try to make sure each child is valued as an individual and enjoys a broad curriculum, full of opportunity and rich experiences.

“As well as maintaining our strong links with the community, we aim to ensure our children gain confidence in the key areas of literacy and mathematics through a creative curriculum.

“We also promote outdoor learning, running weekly Forest Schools sessions on Harting Down and using the grounds and our roundhouse.

“As well as being used by the school, the roundhouse is also very much designed to be an arts venue for the community.

“Since being opened at the end of the summer term, it has hosted a chamber concert, an illustrated talk, regular open mic nights, 
craft workshops, a mummers play, A Christmas Carol, and carols with the Salvation Army.

“It has been used by the Congregational Church, the Beavers, the youth club and the pre-school and has also prompted the founding of a new weekly choir and a drama group within the village.

“Forthcoming events include our next open mic night at 7.30pm on March 21, and two showings of Project Wild Thing, a film about getting children back to nature, at 7pm on March 28 and 2pm on March 29.

“There will also be an entertaining concert by a new choir, A Choired Taste, at 7.30pm on April 4 – all are welcome.”

For details about the roundhouse, visit www.harting-roundhouse.org.uk or the facebook page www.facebook.com/hartingroundhousevenue




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