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Following Government advice to stay safe and protect the NHS, we are working hard to continue to deliver for you. Find information here on how to enjoy the National Park virtually, and how our services are operating during this time.

Sculpture Trail Map

Sculpture Trail Map

Struggling to find the sculptures? Try using our interactive map to help you locate site car parks. Don’t forget the grid reference numbers are on the trail leaflet too.

You can view the Sculpture Trail Map here or download The Sculpture Trail PDF here.

Learn more about the stories behind the sculptures:

The sculptor, Graeme Mitcheson, spent 6 months working with trained volunteers who carried out oral history recordings and archival research within the local communities in these areas.

Graeme also visited school groups and worked with site rangers and landowners to develop these sculptures to tell the unique stories of each heathland site.

Cranberry on the Mire, Shortheath

This site is a Special Area of Conservation notified for its impressive ‘floating’ transition mire, which you can see if you look North West from the sculpture.

Shortheath has a high cover of the cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos which is rare in Southern England, the name is supposed to be derived from Crane-berry because the flowers look like Cranes.

Resting Reptiles, Woolbeding

Heaths are home to 3 species of snake. The Grass, Smooth Snake and Adder. The smooth snake is Britain’s rarest and most secretive reptile.

The sculpture shows the snakes curled up on a bed of Oak and Birch leaves.

Trees which are both associated with wooded-heaths.

Dragonflies Rest, Stedham

Heathlands and Iping and Stedham Commons are home to all five of the heathland species occurring in southern UK.

  • Golden-Ringed
  • Emperor
  • Southern Hawker
  • Broad-bodied chasers
  • Common darter

Dragonflies are bigger and sturdier than damselflies and they hold their wings out like an aeroplane when landed.

Whereas Damselflies hold their wings closed along their body or half-open when landed.

Tennyson Quote, Black Down

Probably the most famous admirer of the common and nearby former resident was poet Alfred Lord Tennyson.

This sculpture is inspired by some of his words and ancient documents granting rights of pasture to the common land.

The documents are beautifully hand written with incredible flowing fonts. So this sculpture incorporates a quote, long associated with the site written by Tennyson, using a font taken directly from the documents relating to the rights of the common land.

The sculpture references the beautiful landscape and view from the site but also nod to its industrious past.

Sheep Pig, Graffham

The Sheep pig is inspired by a map, drawn in 1629 during the reign of Charles 1, showing the heath as common land (see below).

It reflects the former use of the site as grazing land but also refers to the rare map of the vicinity.

A volunteer working with the project found the original archive copy of the map in the West Sussex Records office.

On the primitively drawn map of the area, tiny drawings of animals (almost appearing to be standing on top of one another) can be seen. Based on this, the sculptor created a replica of the drawing in carved stone.

Lavington Lizard, Lavington

South Downs Heaths support all 12 of our native amphibians and reptiles.

Lavington Common provides a home for all 3 types of Lizard that rely on heaths; Slow worms, Common and Sand Lizards can all be found here.

During the breeding season male sand lizards adopt a bright green coloration to attract a mate.

They were once nearly extinct in Britain and are now protected by law, and are still classed as an endangered species.

Wiggonholt Cricket

The field cricket is an extremely rare, declining and threatened insect in the UK which depends solely on heathland habitat.

It is classified as Vulnerable and is given full protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and is a Section 41 Species of Principal Importance in England.

There has been a lot of work on this site to reintroduce the field cricket and encourage the regeneration of heather.


" The Downs...too much for one pair of eyes, enough to float a whole population in happiness. "