Climbing up to Chanctonbury Ring

Just over a week ago we’d packed a lot into the day, and went into the Ferring Fish and Chip shop for our evening meal.

I didn’t fancy sharing it with the gulls in the Goring Gap, so we headed off to to the hills.

Fifteen minutes later we parked up in the car park on the north side of Chanctonbury Ring. I’ve been up there several times before, but always using pedal power.

I made a snap decision to make the ascent, despite a sign saying “Car Park closes at Dusk”.

When is dusk? Is it when it starts getting dark, or when the sun has gone behind the South Downs?

I wasn’t sure, so we fairly skipped up the slopes to watch the sun go down.

Chanctonbury Ring is the clump of Beech Trees near the centre of my photo. This feature was planted by the 16 year old Charles Goring back in 1760.

It sounds like this was no ordinary teenager, he sought to create something that would bless generations to come. I’d be surprised if any of the trees that grace the site are original.

Apparently the little woodland was wiped out by the storm which Michael Fish somehow dismissed as unlikely to happen on the evening and night of 15/10/21.

There’s a good post about the hill here, but I don’t have much truck with the often quoted witchcraft stories. The whole tree planting process was carried out by a God fearing man with vision, rather than those with unsavoury designs.

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