South Downs Way: 50th anniversary celebration in Buriton

SDW celebratory event

Schoolchildren mark special occasion

For over 20 years Buriton was the western start and end point of the South Downs National Trail – with the extension to Winchester only being added more recently – and schoolchildren turned “nature detectives” recently to take part in a special celebratory walk.

The ramble took place after a beautiful plaque had been presented to the village by the South Downs National Park Authority.

The engraving celebrates Buriton as the original starting point for the South Downs Way and will be given pride of place in the village hall.

More than 40 pupils from Buriton Primary School then joined South Downs National Park Ranger Chris Lickley for a guided walk to learn more about the 100-mile trail and the amazing wildlife living near it.

The children enjoyed finding out more about the National Park as they searched for creatures in the woods and learnt about the chalk geology.

Headteacher Danielle Brown described how “The children love going into the woods and being surrounded by nature. Such activities also help them to appreciate how important it is to protect and preserve our precious wildlife in their surroundings.”

“This is a big year for the South Downs Way” explained Andrew Lee, the National Park’s Director of Countryside Policy & Management who presented the plaque to the Parish Council, “and it’s been wonderful to get Buriton involved in the celebrations.”

The Chair of Buriton Parish Council, Doug Jones, added that: “The community really values its association with the South Downs Way.  We meet visitors from all over the world who are enjoying this wonderful area – and they help to support our local pubs which are both happy to look after walkers and cyclists using the long-distance trail.”

Earlier in the year, in July, the 50th birthday had been marked by a group of Buriton’s walkers (here), led by Rob Wood: Coordinator of Buriton’s Monday Walkers (the BMW group) which is part of part of the wider ‘Wellbeing Walks’ initiative.

There are more details about the Buriton Monday Walkers group here and more information about the South Downs Way (and how to plan visits to the area can be found here.