I spend (far too little time) walking the South Downs within Brighton and Hove checking the condition of gates, stiles, rights of way and signs. This is a voluntary thing for the South Downs Society. One of the rewards is an annual gathering of volunteers, to stroll a parish, talk, eat and even drink.
This year it happened in the wealthy and neat parish of Alciston, between Brighton and Eastbourne.
This is the biggest flint and tiled barn in England, said our host Peter.
Some barns have been gentrified.
Other are just waiting the opportunity.
This one is on a Byway Open to All traffic (BOAT), and some of the village would like to see it closed to vehicles because 4WD enthusiasts love to roar up and down it especially in wet and muddy conditions. Oddly enough it recently received money for improvement specifically for cycling. But Councils are scared of reducing access rights, it means court cases and potential costs.
After the walk we had lunch at the excellent Rose Cottage Inn – mine was a pint of Harveys and a warm avocado, bacon and lettuce salad with artisan bread. Artisan bread! – where do they get the names?