Earth First! Summer Gathering 2018

Summer Gathering 2018

Weds 15th - Mon 20th Aug

West Sussex

Five days of skill-sharing for grassroots ecological direct action - make links, share ideas, and get involved in the struggles against fracking, new roads and more

EF! Bear

EF! Summer Gathering: Practical Information

Getting There

This year the Summer Gathering will be held at a rural site in Sussex from the 15-20th August 2018. The address is: BroadWater Lane, Nuthurst, Horsham, RH13 6QJ (about halfway down lane, look for EF! signs). Coming by public transport or cycling is very strongly encouraged. We hope that group transport will also be arranged (please get in touch if you can organised transport from your area). The nearest railway station to the site is Horsham (HRH).

When To Come

The workshop programme will run from Wednesday morning through to the evening meal on Sunday - it's looking pretty exciting already, so we would love you to come for as much of the gathering as you are able! Wednesday morning's workshops are hands-on ones to learn all about the practicalities of setting up a protest site or gathering - so if you have not there already helping set-up, come Tuesday night or first thing Wednesday to gain valuable skills. Check the workshops page for programme updates and the full timetable when it is ready. You are encouraged to stay for Monday to help pack down and tidy up the site.

Trains & Coaches

If you are coming by train book your tickets to Horsham (HRH). The train station is about 1 hour 15 mins walk from the site. There are three trains an hour from London Victoria in central London, as well as Thameslink Trains from Peterborough passing through London Bridge. From the opposite direction there are also trains from Southampton, Portsmouth and Bognor. Horsham can also be reached by the 23 bus from Crawley or Worthing, and runs until around 6pm.

Reaching The Site

Unfortunately buses from Horsham are not good (as in many areas of the country these days), and for those who can manage it walking south from station to the site is the simplest option but will take about 1 hour and 15 mins (see map above). The 23 or 98 (Horsham Station, Stop L) are reasonably regular and get you to Southwater (closer than Horsham), but still over a mile walk from the site. The 98 is slightly better, the Country Park stop is right next to the Downs Link footpath down Stakers Lane, which you need to take to get under the A24 dual carriageway. However, the 23 stops at Cripplegate Corner and it is only a short walk up Cripplegate Lane to reach the County Park stop and Stakers Lane.

Once under the A24 continue on Downs Link footpath until you hit a road (Bar Lane) crossing the footpath, with an ornate sign saying Copesale where footpath restarts on other side of road, and a red post box on opposite side of road a bit to left. Leave footpath and head left along the road for a short distance, with houses on left, and turn left into Broadwater Lane (not sign-posted but there should be 'Maplehurst 1' and 'Copesale Road' signs opposite the entrance to the lane). Head north up Broadwater Lane towards site.

The 74B bus from Horsham to Nuthurst is an option, if you can make the one bus a day and would enjoy a walk west from Black Horse Inn on footpaths over fields until you hit Broadwater Lane. Otherwise a taxi from Horsham Station to the site will cost approximately £10 for an 8-10-minute journey, and would be far cheapest option if you are arriving in a small group of up to 4 people.

Cycling

Depending on where you are coming from cycling can be a great way to reach the site, but probably requires careful planning. Unfortunately Southern Trains are not very cycling friendly, with full sized (but not folding bikes) banned at peak times (7-10am and 4-7pm). If you have a fully folding bike or can avoid these peak times or are coming from the Worthing, Portmouth and Southampton direction (see this map) then bringing a bike shouldn't be any more hassle than for any other UK trains. Once at Horsham (see map below). For the more adventurous it should be posible to cycle from London in 3-4 hours (see Sustrans site for potential options).

Motor Vehicles

There will be limited parking. If you do need to drive then organising to bring a car/minibus full of people from your area would be the best option (see above). If you are thinking of bringing a vehicle please contact site@earthfirstgathering.org to make sure there will be space to park it. Live-in Vehicle Charge: £10, which is waived if you bring extra people or transports things we need (please get in touch for info on infrastructure, materials, etc. that we might need!).

What To Bring

The gathering will be camping at a rural site (accessible by public transport) so you will need to bring a tent, sleeping bag, torch, appropriate clothing and suchlike (also see costs below). Bring your hammock if you like to sleep or hang out in the woods! Meals are provided by the gathering's collective kitchen and there will be a snack shop. Everyone is crew, so the site, including toilets and running water, will be run by us all.

The Gathering

Set Up/Tat Down

If you can help with set-up or tat-down on site for a few days before or after the Gathering, please let us know as soon as possible. You don't need to have any particular skills for this, just willingness to do a bit of work and you'll walk away with lots of practical skills and new friends. If you've never been to the gathering and feel a bit shy, the set-up is the best place to start, as you will really get to know some really nice people. Contact: site@earthfirstgathering.org

Security/Privacy

This is an activist gathering not a press event, so if you are coming as a journalist then you are not welcome. Also please respect the aim of this gathering to be a relaxed and safe space, by not taking any photographs on site. If bringing a mobile phone, leave it in your tent.

Costs

We ask that everybody attending the gathering makes a donation between £15-50 according to what you can afford. Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for a suggested donation of £5 per day (this is what it costs to provide). No-one will be turned away for lack of funds!

Accessibility

We don't want anyone to be excluded from the gathering and will do our best with our limited resources to support everyone who wants to attend. The gathering is on a relatively accessible field. All essential infrastructure and workshop spaces and a camping space reserved for people with accessability needs will be at the bottom of the field. Boards will be used to create more accessible walkways between the main spaces. There will also be two step-free toilets, chairs in workshop and eating areas, and priority camping (also for live-ins) near gate/toilets. The main (vehicle) gate is the most accessible entrance to the site.

Please get in touch to discuss your requirements: summergathering@earthfirst.org.uk.

Accessible/Offsite Accommodation

We can provide camp beds for people's tents or straw bails in a communal tent. Indoor beds in the nearby house can be booked, £20 per night in a twin room if sharing, £40 if single use. This is being subsidised by the Gathering according to need. This includes shower and toilet. Please contact site@earthfirstgathering.org

Safety

We believe that the gathering should be a place in which all individuals can feel safe. That does not mean that your beliefs or preconceptions might not be challenged during workshops, but we do not tolerate language or behaviour which is discriminatory. Anyone who persists in inappropriate behaviour may be asked to leave.

Kids & Young People

We welcome families with kids to the gathering. There will be a kids' space and there will be some organised activities and plenty of time for self-organised activities. We will hold daily meetings for all kids (and parents) as well. Activities planned include art, craft and music-based fun, introductions to the topics which adults will be discussing, as well as the wildlife of the area in which the camp is held. Please be aware that these activities depend on volunteers to help facilitate them. There will be a separate kids kitchen running during the gathering, and a family-camping site.

Dogs

Please contact us in advance if you want to bring a dog, as there are limited places for dogs (dogs@earthfirstgathering.org). Dogs must be on leads at all times on site and all mess cleaned up immediately.

Live-in Vehicles

There is limited space for live-in vehicles. If you need to bring yours with you, please contact us first so that we can ensure there is space for you. Live-in Vehicle Charge: £10, which is waived if you bring extra people or transports things we need (please get in touch for info on infrastructure, materials, etc. that we might need!).

Contact

For further information or to offer help please e-mail summergathering@earthfirst.org.uk.