Walkers, cyclists and horse riders gathered for the official opening of the next section of the Egrets Way despite the wet weather.
Around 50 people attended the event on Saturday June 7 which celebrated the Rodmell to Southease section.
The morning included a cycle ride from Southease to the National Trust property Monk’s House at Rodmell which was the home of writer Virginia Wolf.
Strategic and partnership director for the South Downs National Park Authority, Andrew Lee said: “When complete, the Egret’s Way will form an important part of the network of cycle routes enabling cyclists of all abilities to access and enjoy the South Downs Way National Park.”
By the time the party reached Rodmell, the sun came out so people could enjoy the garden which the National Trust opened specially.
Cycle Seahaven’s Dr Bike mechanics carried out essential bicycle repairs and Sussex Police provided anti-tamper labels and advice about bicycle security.
Visitors were encouraged to explore the garden and visit the stalls where The South Downs National Park, The National Trust and, of course, The Egrets Way committee, provided information and leaflets.
Home made cupcakes were provided by the Abergavenny Arms pub in Rodmell.
Funding came from Natural England’s ‘Paths for communities’ scheme and enabled a mile of new bridleway to be created.
Chair of the Egrets Way Project Neville Harrison said:“My abiding memory of the day will be the sight of walkers and cyclists of all ages and abilities, mobility scooters and horse riders all enjoying the bridleway together; a truly shared path.”
The Egrets Way will eventually connect Lewes and Newhaven with a safe cycle path, making it possible for people to cycle to work and enjoy the South Downs National Park without having to navigate the busy C7 or A26 roads.
It will also connect the Ouse Valley villages, reducing the need for car journeys.
So far sections from Lewes to Kingston and Kingston to Rodmell have been finished.