The Woodlands Recreation Ground

The Woodlands Recreation Ground has been owned and managed by the Parish Council, on behalf of it's Parishioners, for nearly a Century.  It is the larger of the two public open spaces, within the Parish and is situated five minutes walk north-west from the Village Centre. The Ground is approximately five acres in area, comprising of the main Recreation Ground with a separate field to the north-east. Enhancements have been made over the years to meet with the needs of the community and the site is maintained by the Parish Council’s Contractor, Barcombe Landscapes and the Leisure and Amenities Officer.

There are two free public car parking areas which can accommodate up to one hundred vehicles, with a number of disabled parking bays, and access to the field is via these areas. There are also other pedestrian access points to the field on the north side.

The Recreation Ground is home to both Rustington Football Club and Rustington Cricket Club.

Also sited at the Recreation Ground are the The Woodlands CentreRustington Youth Centre, Children's Play Area, Outdoor Fitness Equipment, a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) with hardstanding and a Wildlife Area.  The Recreation Ground has plenty of public benches upon which to take a breather as well as plenty of bins to help everyone keep the site clean and tidy.

The Play Area is designed for use by children. With regard to this area the following should be noted:-

  • Small children should be supervised by an adult at all times;
  • No dogs are permitted within the fenced Playground Area;
  • No glass or alcohol is permitted in the Play Areas;
  • Consideration of neighbouring residents should be given at all times;
  • Any dangerous, damaged or misuse of the equipment should be reported immediately to

The Recreation Ground can be hired for a limited range of Organised Activities and the full details of the Terms and Conditions of use for Casual and Organised Activities can be found here.  If you would like to apply to hold an organised event at the Recreation Ground an application form can be downloaded here.

Casual Activities are what may be classed as informal recreational activities, normally undertaken in a park setting. The following is a list of typical casual activities which may take place on the Recreation Ground without specific consent from the Parish Council:

  • All ball games with the strict exception of golf;
  • Frisbee, kite flying and other children’s games;
  • Informal running and the taking of exercise;
  • Picnics (BBQ are not permitted);
  • Dog walking (not including Professional Dog Walking and/or Training Businesses)

This list is not exhaustive and if any User wishes to query whether an activity not on the list constitutes a Casual Activity they should contact RPC via

Casual Activities exclude any activity run as a commercial venture.

This includes sporting clubs where fees/subs or membership is/are paid and fundraising activities. Such activities are classified as Organised Activities and may only take place with permission from the Parish Council.

 The Recreation Ground shall not be used for the following purposes:

  • Driving motorised vehicles (except by authorised Maintenance staff or Contractors);
  • Golf practice of any kind;
  • Bonfires or any barbecues;
  • Fireworks or Chinese Lanterns;
  • Horse riding;
  • Professional Dog Walking and/or Training Services;
  • Shooting or archery;
  • Or any activity that is illegal or overtly dangerous or offensive to other Users.


HISTORY OF THE WOODLANDS RECREATION GROUND by Mary Taylor BEM, Official Historian of Rustington

April 1925

The Parish Council discussed the first question of providing a playing field. This resulted in the following proposition, which was carried unanimously, “That the Parish Council, having discussed this matter, pledges itself to do the utmost to provide playing fields for the Parish, they consider the time has arrived when the matter should be dealt with”. After two years of work, which involved looking at various sites, negotiations with landowners, appeals for public subscriptions, applications for loans, dealings with District Valuers and Legal Advisors, the Parish Clerk produced a Contract of Sale.

October 1927

A Contract for Sale of a piece of land at Woodlands Avenue for a cost of £1,600.00, from Mr George Peskett, was drawn up. The Completion date to take place on 31 December 1927. A Conveyance dated 31 December 1927 was made between Mr George Peskett of the one part and the Trustees of the other part, as follows: - Rustington Parish Council, Rustington Parochial Church Council, Rustington Methodist Chapel, Women’s Institute (Rustington Branch), Rustington Choral Society, Rustington Cricket Club, Rustington Football Club, Rustington Girl Guides, Rustington Boys Scouts, English Folk Dancing Society (Rustington Branch), Rustington Players Dramatic Society.

A Committee was appointed of three Members of the Parish Council and a representative from each Club, the Cricket Club and the Football Club. They were to deal with all matters in connection with the Recreation Ground and to report to the Council. These were Messrs. W Cobb, J Hebblewaite, H R Booker and, for the Council, Mr F Hoare (Cricket Club) and Mr W Atterbury (Football Club). The Football Club was charged £3.00 for their pitch, being the same amount they had been paying for their old ground.

Landscaping was high on the priority list, with the Barnham Nurseries being awarded the Contract to stock the ground with trees and shrubs. There were six park seats set at intervals around the grounds, a Tennis Court to the west end of the ground and a cricket ground was laid out in the central position, with a children’s area at the north east portion, this comprised of a seesaw, swings and metal rails. A black wooden Pavilion was built on the south side of the field at a cost of £175.00. A gift of a motor mower costing £85.00 was made. Public Conveniences were erected on the south side at a cost of £331.00.

1929, a piece of land 300ft x 100ft 

Within the course of the next two years, a further piece of ground of about an acre was conveyed to the Parish Council, as an open space. This was the site, which was proposed for allocation as the Village Hall site, as it would not materially interfere with the present recreation ground facilities.

February 1930

The Parish Council received an additional piece of land adjoining the playing field, which had been part of the old brickyards, from the Worthing District Council, free of charge. This was the north east section of the field, and now contains the children’s play area.