PICTURE GALLERY: Record numbers take part in Beachy Head Lighthouse Challenge

Almost 700 people took part in this year’s Beachy Head Lighthouse Challenge.

The annual walk took place on Saturday with 685 people registering for the charity event.

Organisers estimate more than £3,000 was raised which will be donated to local charities including the Eastbourne RNLI.

Both lifeboats were out at sea to keep an eye on walkers and Eastbourne Coastguard volunteers were also on hand as were Raynet and St John Ambulance volunteers.

The walk, the third event, started just before 5.30pm and walkers were able to walk to the lighthouse and back before sunset and before the tide turned

Organiser Martin Wellings said, “It was a huge success and we are delighted.

“The annual walk around the lighthouse is a rare opportunity when a low spring tide occurs at the right time, and during daylight hours to enable people to walk around the lighthouse.

“The walk was originally started to raise funds for the re-painting necessary, together with some worthwhile charities, and was organised by the Rotary Club of Eastbourne AM in conjunction with the Save the Stripes campaign and supported by the Eastbourne Herald.”

“On their return walkers were presented with a certificate to authenticate that they are one of the few people who have undertaken the Lighthouse Challenge.”

Organisers are already planning next year’s event.

The walk was originally held three years ago to pay for the iconic lighthouse to be repainted.

Trinity House, which owns the lighthouse, said back then it could not justify the cost of repainting the red and white stripes and wanted it to return to its natural granite grey. Campaigners set about raising £30,000 to pay for the cost of repainting with paint donated by Brewers.

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