Simon Calder is an English travel writer and broadcaster, currently senior travel editor for The Independent newspaper.
On asking his thoughts on the idea of Friends of Tilgate Park he wrote the following:
“When I was growing up in Crawley half a century ago, Tilgate Park provided an ideal great escape: a verdant sprawl with a broad, shimmering lake at its heart.
At a time when flights from nearby Gatwick airport were prohibitively expensive for ordinary people, such a great resource on the doorstep was a marvel.
In retrospect I even feel warmly about the icy cross-country runs organised through the park by Thomas Bennett School!
Today, Tilgate Park is still priceless. Whether you seek a carpet of lawn unrolling towards the lake for a family picnic or wild woodland for some serious hiking, this public asset delivers for the people of Crawley, and welcomes visitors.
It also provides opportunities to learn more about conservation and protecting the planet. And with the Friends of Tilgate Park to nurture it, this valuable resource has a fine future ahead.”