A fine view on the South Downs Way

Published 20 June 2021

A dung heap on the South Downs Way

A friend of mine recently started walking the South Downs Way. Naturally he sent me a photo of a dung heap he’d seen.

Okay there’s a story there. I knew that dung heap. It was near the village of Amberley in, funnily enough, the South Downs. In 2007 I had walked past it whilst doing a day walk; a circular tour of Amberley. It was a fairly substantial dung heap. But what impressed me more was that opposite the dung heap was a bench. You could sit down and rest whilst enjoying the fine view of the dung heap.

Tempted? I almost was. As I was a few years later, when I passed it again whilst doing the South Downs Way.

A bench next to a dung heap on the South Downs Way

Whenever anyone asks me the best part of the South Downs Way, I am always tempted to mention the dung heap. Tongue in cheek, of course. The South Downs Way is an absolutely stunning walk. I mean, it is simply beautiful. That it has a dung heap on it really shouldn’t detract from the rest of the walk. After all, there’s a lot of farmland, and farms often have dung. Besides, it’s not a patch on a dung heap I saw on the Yorkshire Wolds Way.

But I am afraid I have disappointing news to share. According to my friend, there’s no longer a bench on which you can rest your tired legs on whilst taking in the view. I think we can all agree, that really is very disappointing to hear. I can only hope someone rectifies the situation soon.

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