Basil Ionides Memorial Trust

The Basil Ionides Trust land was donated by the Ionides family in 1953, after the death of Basil Ionides, to the village of Buxted for social and recreational use by the community.  Basil Ionides, a well known architect, had saved Buxted Park from demolition and subsequent development in the early 1930’s.The three acre site is bounded by the A272 to the north and Framfield Road to the east,  The western boundary of the field is the embanked Buxted to Uckfield railway line beyond which are agricultural fields extending towards Buxted Park which is the site of the abandoned medieval village of Buxted and St Margaret’s church.

The Scout Hut (1963) and Rifle Range (1949) are the only older buildings now surviving on the site. The Buxted Surgery was opened in 2102 and the Ionides Playground, for young children, was relocated at the same time. Both the Surgery and Ionides playground were built over the site of previous agricultural buildings of Lower Totease Farm.

In early 2014 planning permission was finally obtained for a new village hall on the site of the Ionides land .The new community hall site is located on the high ground opposite the surgery site, and above the playground where there is an existing area of hard standing that was associated with agricultural buildings that were finally demolished in the late 1980’s. Fund raising is currently on going to achieve the building of the new village hall. http://www.buxtedvillagehall.co.uk/trust.html

The Ionides Trust consist of a group of Trustees, amongst which are representatives form the Scout Group, Rifle Club and Parish Council and members of the community.  They are responsible for the maintenance of the land which includes the playground and maintaining the legal and financial aspects of the leases.

The land on which Buxted Surgery is built is leased from the Ionides Trust, which for the first time in its sixty some years of existence, can now draw on a regular income to maintain that land held in trust. Previously the only funds available for maintenance and improvements were gained from fund raising activities which yielded little income for a good deal of hard work.

When the new surgery was being built some of the soil from the ground works was used to form a bund to the rear of the car parking spaces and some soil was used to level out that part of the site which connects the Ionides land with that belonging to the parish council. As part of the planning conditions a car park was built for the users of the Ionides land.

In the past couple of years new trees have been planted on site, scrub cleared away, the site opened out and the grass regularly mown. New seats and picnic tables are now in place and the whole site is a pleasant and well used open green space within the heart of Buxted. Recently paths have been mown through the long grass and out into the recreation ground, and around the football pitch, to provide a walking/jogging trail.

As a result of another planning condition a substantial sum of money was awarded to provide play equipment for older children and young adults. Tenders are currently being sought to provide this equipment. It is hoped that work will commence on this exciting project in the autumn of 2015.

If anyone requires further information please contact Vivienne Blandford at vivienne@blandford.co.uk