Green fields and blue skies on the South Downs Way

It's Hot and getting busy!

3rd July 2015

Some may have noticed I didn't blog last week. Well I've been on holiday with my young family and then been off work ill. What that means is lots of catching up to do!!

But lots has still been going on. We have completed some track regarding work in West Sussex and sent out tender documents for a number of other surface repair jobs to be completed in the coming months. Vegetation cutting is also stepping up a gear with National Park staff, volunteers, Highway Authorities and contractors all out cutting bits of the SDW and still it grows! Thankfully the very warm weather has slowed the growth a bit. We have also repaired and installed a new water filter to the drinking water tap at Lomer Farm in Hampshire and repaired the damaged water tap at Botolphs near Upper Beeding in West Sussex, so thirsty walkers and riders can now quench their thirst.

There are events along the SDW every weekend at this time of year. This weekend coming sees a Wiggle 100 miles Cyclocross event along the SDW. We have started to receive some donations from these large events to help contribute towards the maintenance of the Trail. Many thanks to the British Heart Foundation and the SDW Marathon for their gratefully received donations.

Our resident poet Lizzie Ballagher has been out walking again, but below is a poem she wrote a little while back when she walked passed Devil's Dyke.

Deeper, Brighter, Sweeter: the Way through Devil’s Dyke

Long-rooted rustic folksongs demanded of the devil

Nine steep & prickly questions in a song…

What is deeper than the sea?

What is brighter than the light?

What is sweeter than the bread?...


But that wicked old curmudgeon

Could not answer a single one with Truth

(Or even with a pack of tricky lies).

Thus he was confounded, silenced

In a sulky puff of smoke.


Truth, we found, is deeper, brighter, sweeter

Than any landscape devils could devise.

Nothing hellish down in Devil’s Dyke—

Just ageless loveliness hidden in the folded hills,

A fairway cleft along the sweep of a dry valley:


Deep, bright, sweet with briar roses, wild orchids;

And softly green. Swooped & swung through

By summer’s lilting swifts & swallows…

Breathless with wind-hovering kestrels…

All overhung by falcons holding high the passes of heaven.


Devil’s Dyke rests: a place of peace & grace—

No need for any country catechisms here.

                                                © Lizzie Ballagher

If you like Lizzie' poems you can follow her work on her blog at

More blogs from this Trail »

More blogs from all trails »

Share this post: