A special way marker at the start or end point of one of the most popular National Trails in the country was revealed in Eastbourne today (September 24).
The new two metre high sign will greet walkers, cyclists and horse riders setting out or finishing the 160km (100 mile) South Downs Way route which stretches all the way from Eastbourne to Winchester.
The old way marker, star of a thousand celebratory selfies, will be removed and will get a new life in retirement.
It is being sold through crowdfunding to raise funds for the #MendourWay campaign to fix broken sections of the trail. Find out more at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/mend-the-south-downs-way.
Andy Gattiker, South Downs Way trail manager, said, “One lucky person will have the chance to own their own little piece of walking history. 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.”
Placed as part of the Eastbourne and Lewes Walk Fest 2018, Across the top of the new sign it shows in relief each of the major hills that must be tackled to complete the trail.
The sign has been funded jointly by the South Downs National Park Trust, the South Downs Volunteer Ranger Service and the South Downs National Park Authority.
Trevor Beattie, chief executive officer for the South Downs National Park Authority, said, “Whether they’re taking their first or final steps on the trail I’m sure that the 20,000 walkers, cyclists and horse riders who complete the trail each year will find this beautiful marker welcoming and inspiring.
“And if you’ve loved spending time on the trail please take a moment to give your ‘pound for the downs’.”
And Gill Mattock, Mayor of Eastbourne, said, “This part of the country is amazing for walkers. The Eastbourne & Lewes Walk Fest draws visitors and locals alike to our glorious rights of way network and the South Downs Way is the jewel in Eastbourne’s walking crown.”
While Lady Lucas, member of the Walk Fest steering group added, “Eastbourne’s ‘Jewel in the Crown’ are her Downs.”
Mend our Way is a new campaign to raise £120,000 to help us fix four damaged sections of the trail.
Find out more and donate www.southdowns.gov.uk/mendourway