Welcome to the Steyning Rifle Range Conservation page, where you can find out all about the work we’re doing to conserve this historical feature and how you can be involved.
The Rifle Range Volunteers came together in late 2017, to start work on cleaning up and preserving the target area of the Range.
It is a superb site and despite looking a little run down, represents one of the best survivals of its kind in East and West Sussex. Our aims are simple – to clean it up, preserve it for the future and promote interest in it as a place of historical importance. We will not, however, be turning it back into a functioning rifle range!
The Steyning Rifle Range came into existence in 1860 (making it almost 160 years old), though the features we see today mostly date from the Second World War. Having been abandoned in the late 1980s (due to the difficulty of operating a range so close to residential areas and public footpaths), the target area had fallen into decay. Heavily overgrown and with a lot of litter lying around, it was not looking its best.
A record of the site in this state (along with a general history) can be downloaded here. (PDF document). Prior to our work starting, some essential tree clearance took place in the area behind the targets, led by National Park Ranger, Tom Parry, with lots of support from students from Steyning Grammar School (with thanks to Christine Humphreys, David Buckett and their team). This opened up the head of the valley and returned it to a state similar to that when it was in use as a rifle range. This has had a great beneficial impact on being able to appreciate the Range from the valley and a big thank you goes to those involved for all their hard work.
Since then we’ve cleared away debris that had accumulated over recent decades and begun restoring the targets themselves. In 2018 we managed to bring one target back to full working order.