This is the website for the local community in Tortington, a small rural parish just south-west of Arundel in West Sussex.
It was started by a group of residents concerned that the dispersed nature of the population in our parish meant that many local issues and news affecting all of us were going unnoticed. Of particular interest to all of us is the proposed A27 Arundel Bypass, reliable information about which has been misleading or simply non-existent.
Tortington is unique. More than any other parish in this area, it will be changed forever by any new road which might be built to bypass the current Arundel relief road. Of the bypass options considered in the past, all but the PURPLE ROUTE, with its shorter bypass and online improvements – which most Tortington residents support – divide Tortington’s community from that of their fellow constituents in Arundel. Two of the bypass options – the so-called pink-blue route and the Binsted route – would incur the greatest LOSS OF WOODLAND habitat of any road-building scheme along the whole of the A27. To save our woodland we want to make it clear that Tortington’s loss is rural England’s loss. We need Highways England to present more options for public consultation in 2017 and this means reconsidering other less enviromentally damaging options such as the RED ROUTE and the PURPLE ROUTE.
Our local MP, Nick Herbert, has on several occasions stated that there is no community at Tortington and we hope we can in some way demonstrate to him and others who might belive this, that there is indeed a community in Tortington and there are house-owners, there are businesses, there are tax-payers and there are around 150 residents. Frequent claims by our elected members that the people of Tortington have been asked their opinion on proposed road-building are false and this website hopes to give us the opportunity to refute such claims publicly and to put our case which when individually expressed has been dismissed or ignored.
But this website is not just about a road. It also celebrates the beautiful environment in which we live here in Tortington, 35% of our parish being woodland in the South Downs National Park. Much of the remainder has been under continuous cultivation or grazing since before the Norman Conquest – more than 1,000 years of continuity in this landscape.
As well as promoting our beautiful countryside and our built heritage – St Mary Magdalene’s church and the remains of Tortington Priory are both 900 years old, and a Roman road lies under Tortington Common – we also want to promote local rural businesses. Too often neglected and overshadowed by the towns and larger villages along the south coast, rural businesses need a voice and as many opportunities as possible to promote their products and services.
Important though our history and our heritage is to us, enabling us to enjoy living in an environment disturbed only by the sounds of birdsong, of grazing sheep and horses, we also want to share it with others. To this end we hope to use this site to promote ourselves to visitors – walkers, cyclists, bird-watchers, local historians, photographers – our bluebell woods are the most photographed in the area. All we then ask is that when they return to their own homes they tell others that we are here, straddling the southeren edge of the beautiful South Downs National Park.
As for residents, neighbouring communities and visitors alike, please use the link on the menu bar above to go to our ‘NEWS’ page where you can read news relating to the area or find links to more extensive coverage of issues affecting all of us. If you want to comment on the website, on the news posts or on any other matter affecting Tortington, its past and its people (there are limits of course!) then please use the ‘CONTACT’ link above and email us. There are other opportunities to interact with the site as well – send us your photographs or follow our link to the TORTINGTON PAST AND PRESENT Facebook pages.