Crowdfunder: Fancy a day out with the South Downs Way team?

A day out with South Downs Way Manager Andy and Ranger Ben is one of the rewards available as part of a crowdfunding campaign to fix broken sections on the South Downs Way as well as trails in all 14 other UK National Parks.

Other rewards on offer through the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) crowdfunding campaign include the Eastbourne way marker, star of a thousand celebratory selfies, which sits at the start/ end of National Trail in Eastbourne.

“One lucky person will have the chance to own their own little piece of walking history,” says Andy Gattiker, South Downs Way trail manager. “Old South Downs Way trail markers are always popular but this one, carved from oak and topped by the acorn symbol, will be particularly meaningful for anyone who’s completed the trail.”

See all the rewards on offer and pledge your support at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/mend-the-south-downs-way

About the Mend our Way and Make a Million campaigns

The ‘Mend our Way’ campaign is being run by the South Downs National Park Trust, a new charity which works with partners to protect the National Park for future generations. ‘Mend our Way’ sits within the national ‘Make a Million’ initiative, run by the BMC, which seeks to raise £1,000,000 for some of the UK’s most treasured trails. Find out more at mendmountains.thebmc.co.uk

What needs to be done on the South Downs Way?

Our existing funding allows us to make most repairs but there are a number of significant projects which, because they are on more remote sections of the path, are too expensive to tackle using existing funds. Each year, as the erosion and mud gets worse, they get more damaged and become harder to fix.

  • Inglorious mud!
    Old Winchester Hill is a scheduled ancient monument with an Iron Age Hill Fort, a Bronze Age cemetery and is also a National Nature Reserve. No wonder that it’s one of the most iconic hills in the National Park. But the route up to it becomes a slippery kilometre of boot-churned mud every winter. Being inaccessible to machinery and vehicles makes it a great place to be (when it’s dry) but almost impossible to fix. We need £50,000 to get scrape away the mud and replace the surface with stones.
  • Remote location seeks sensitive scar repairs.
    For one of the most remote sites on the South Downs Way Millpond Bottom, between Beacon Hill and Penn Hill, has some impressive scaring. Successive feet, wheels and hooves have more than doubled the width of the chalk track – putting nearby sensitive Scheduled Ancient Monuments at risk. We need £15,000 to safely transport materials to the site, mend the trail and keep walkers on the straight and narrow.
  • Paying the price of popularity.
    More than 80,000 people walk the high Plumpton Plain track between Ditchling Beacon and the market town of Lewes every year and although it’s 200m above the sea, the path is flat so surface water is a big problem. At more than 1km long and at least 3m wide, we need £25,000 to repair, strengthen and add drainage so the path can continue to give joy to thousands of people.
  • Water water everywhere
    Hyden Lane near Butser Hill sits on top of the chalk ridge but suffers from a lack of drainage. As large puddles get trapped on the busy track the surface breaks up and becomes muddy. It will take £35,000 to fix 1.6km of the track – replacing the existing surface with new layers and creating a camber to help it drain.