New ‘pilot’ signs put up to mark the South Downs

The new sign on the A259 in Eastbourne
The new sign on the A259 in Eastbourne

New pilot signs have been installed in 19 sites across the South Downs National Park – including in Eastbourne and Cuckmere Haven.

The signs, made from iron or a mixture of wood and iron, are designed to echo the rolling landscape of the national park and have been placed at key entry points to the countryside.

The new sign on the A259 in Cuckmere Haven

The new sign on the A259 in Cuckmere Haven

Trevor Beattie, chief executive of the South Downs National Park Authority, said, “These beautifully-crafted signs pay homage to the heritage of the South Downs and welcome people to a precious landscape, reminding them that it should be enjoyed with care and respect.

“Throughout history boundary markers have used local materials to reflect a community’s pride in its place. These bespoke signs are part of that tradition.

“They add to the National Park’s value as a destination to visit in support of local businesses, including our top-quality food and drink producers and the many well-being and leisure opportunities that the South Downs offer.

“We will carefully assess the response to the first 19 sites before deciding whether to proceed with further locations.”

Nearby, they have been placed on the A259 in Eastbourne, Seaford, B2112 Ditchling, and overlooking Cuckmere Haven.

The signs’ material is designed to reflect the history of iron work in the South Downs during the 17th and 18th centuries and that the South Downs has the most woodland of any English National Park.

The sweet chestnut wood used in the signs has been locally sourced from the Stansted Estate by English Woodlands.

While the white lettering is intended as a reference to the iconic chalk landscape of the South Downs.

Designer Peter Anderson, who led on the design of the signs, said, “The signs were designed to respect and pay homage to the heritage, beautiful natural form and materials of the National Park.

“The form of the signs echo the rolling landscape of the SDNP and allow a viewing point through the sign to the scenery beyond it. Cor-ten steel reflects SDNP’s ironworks heritage, this material rusts organically allowing it live and breathe alongside its habitat.”