Landscape & Geology
Stop anywhere in the South Downs and it is hard not to find an inspiring view. There are stunning, panoramic views to the sea and across the weald as you travel the 100 mile length of the South Downs Way from Winchester to Eastbourne, culminating in the impressive chalk cliffs at Seven Sisters. From near and far, the South Downs is an area of inspirational beauty that can lift the soul.
But the landscapes that can take your breath away are more than just scenery, they are living, working, ever changing places shaped by human use over thousands of years and natural factors such as geology, landform, soils and biodiversity. Our landscapes also give us food, wildlife, clean water and access to the countryside in one of the busiest parts of the UK.
The geology of the South Downs underpins so much of what makes up the special qualities of the area: its diverse landscapes, land use, buildings and culture. While most people immediately think of chalk when they think of the South Downs, greensands and clays form the Western Weald. In this relatively small area a rich diversity of landscapes exist. Within these diverse landscapes you can discover hidden villages, thriving market towns, farms both large and small, and historic estates, connected by a network of paths and lanes, many of which are ancient.