by Andrew Partington The Round Hill Reporter June 2001
As you can see from the picture above, where you're sitting now reading this, cattle and sheep would have grazed more recently than you'd think.
150 years ago
As little as 150 years ago, when perhaps your great-grandparents were alive, this area was still Downland, part of that beautiful stretch of countryside we know and cherish. As a Society, we value our heritage and what is now left of the Downs and actively support their conservation.
Accessing rural Downland today
Note: A decade after the above article was written The Sussex Downs (north of the A27 by-pass) became part of The South Downs National Park. Neighbourhoods such as Ovingdean are somewhat nearer to the boundary of the National Park, though the No 26 bus will take walkers from Round Hill to Old Boat Corner next to Stanmer Woods to cross into this now protected area of countryside.
On Sundays and Bank holidays the 79 bus will take Round Hill residents from the stop opposite The Jolly Poacher as far as Ditchling Beacon, while the 78 bus will take those who live nearer Lewes Road along the A27 into the heart of Stanmer village. Both buses can be worked into your itinerary to allow a circular trip. If you enjoy downhill walking, let the 79 take you up to Ditchling Beacon (the highest point) and walk between 200-300M along The South Downs Way in the direction of Lewes. Then turn right and follow a path through an open field which then takes you through wooded sections down into Stanmer village. From there the 78 bus picks up at hourly intervals and will take you through Stanmer Park and back to Round Hill or Brighton along Lewes Road