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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Wildlife walks throughout the year
Green Man
Monday 6th June 2012
Ditchling Beacon

We had been waiting 10 years for another chance to see the beacons lit on the downs and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee finally came along to grant our wish. We had already been at the lighting of the local Scouts beacon on Saturday but Monday was the real jubilee and we had been waiting a long time to see this. I like to think that this is my year, what with my 50th, the Olympics and now the jubilee, plus my university is 50 and so is the Sussex Ornithological Society. I saw the lighting as just another huge celebration.

We parked the bike up at the windmills just a couple of miles away from Ditchling Beacon at about 8pm giving ourselves 2 hours to stroll along the downland before lighting up time. After so much rain and cloud lately, which was even about this morning, it had become a perfect evening. Golden hour was superb and the warm breeze was oscillating the longer meadow grasses and flowers. As we mounted the summit of Ditchling Beacon we were confronted by the full moon. Huge and golden.


The lighting itself was a very restrained affair witnessed by a couple of hundred people who converged on the hill from every possible footpath and thoroughfare, like the followers of an ancient Celtic religion. Over the next half hour huge firework displays erupted over all the main towns all the way to the horizon and the beacons of Chanctonbury Ring, Lewes, Mount Caburn and Firle burst into life. What an evening!



Take the time to read the countryside code for yourself and please stick to it at all times.