Strawberry fair again in the shadow of bypass threat

Ayla and Esme with Winnie the horse at last year's Binsted Strawberry Fair
Ayla and Esme with Winnie the horse at last year's Binsted Strawberry Fair

Strawberries are a fundamental part of English summertime, but residents are worried a bypass could take this away from them.

Many in the Binsted community are concerned a new A27 bypass at Arundel could cut right through their picturesque village and jeopardise the future of their famous Strawberry Fair, which returns on Sunday.

Mike Tristram, organiser of the fair, said: “We are celebrating our 30th event and we are determined that it will not be our last.

“Our Strawberry Fair is very special – not just to the people of Binsted but also to the wider community who come to enjoy our unique village.

“Typically we have more than a thousand visitors and the event has raised over £100,000 for 25 different charities.”

But Mike and others are worried that a possible route for the bypass that suggested in 2015 will be one of those published this summer.

Highways England will be publishing several options for the A27 bypass in the coming weeks, after which there will be a public consultation.

Mike added: “One of the options Highways England is looking at would completely destroy all the peace and pleasure in the landscape that people come to our village to find.

“It would put an end to our arts festival and to the community’s special spirit inspired by the landscape.”

The fair is true to English village summer tradition - with cream teas, pets, Pimms, plants, music and games.

Mike said: “We hope more people than ever will come to this year’s Strawberry Fair, and find out more about the Arundel A27 situation from stands there.

“But mostly we hope they just have a really good time in support of good causes.”

The Strawberry Fair will be held in Binsted on Sunday July 23 between 2 and 4.30pm. Entrance is just £1, and children go free.

What do you think about the bypass? Email news@littlehamptongazette.co.uk.