Hamsey’s hidden heritage revealed in walks

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Two new heritage walks which reveal Hamsey’s hidden heritage have been opened by Councillor Rosalyn St Pierre.

The routes, the brainchild of the local community, take visitors and residents on a journey through the parish’s history using modern smart phone technology.

The two circular walks, created by Hamsey School and Hamsey Parish Council, with the support of the South Downs National Park, start and finish at Cooksbridge Station and Offham bus shelter.

As well as traditional leaflets available at the bus shelter and railway station, the routes use QR codes and “augmented reality” that link smart phones straight to more detailed information bringing the story of chalk and the industrial history in the parish to life.

Cllr St Pierre said: “This just shows how a dynamic community can develop a project that encourages people to walk in the countryside and learn about its history and environment. I will endeavour to improve all public transport to the village”

Brian Bates, of Hamsey Parish Council, said: “This is an excellent development for the parish – innovative, educational, bringing together a wide range of residents – and evidence that being in the National Park can actually make a difference.”

Mark Hayward, a South Downs National Park ranger, said: “The Hamsey heritage walks are a great example of a National Park community coming together and taking the lead to learn about and share a piece of South Downs’ history without having to get in their cars. It has been a pleasure to support this enthusiasm and see their pride in the finished project.”

As well as funding from the local parish, the Hamsey heritage walks have been supported with £2,780 funding from the South Downs National Park Authority.

National Parks are known for being superb landscapes, rich in heritage and wildlife, but they are also valuable generators of wealth and economic activity. Hamsey’s heritage walks will help the community and local businesses make the most of these special qualities and celebrate the opportunities being in the South Downs gives them. The launch ties in with the national ‘Love Your National Parks’ celebration, led by National Parks England.

Find out more at www.hamseyheritage.org.uk