Caring for our environment

Climb the height of Snowdon and Ben Nevis – without leaving Surrey.

Walkers can now climb the height of Snowdon and Ben Nevis combined

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without ever leaving Surrey, following the overhaul of a 100-mile trail*.

The Greensand Way, nestled between the famous North and South Downs, fell into neglect over the past decade, making it difficult to follow in some areas.

Dubbed one of Britain’s “best kept secrets”, it has now been given a new lease of life thanks to Surrey County Council and volunteers from The Ramblers who gave sections of the route an overhaul over the past 18 months.

The trail, which stretches from Haslemere in Surrey to Hamstreet in Kent, was cleared where it became overgrown and was re-routed along some sections. New signposts featuring the eye-catching Leith Hill tower logo were added and old ones repaired, which means ambitious hikers will now find it much easier to walk the entire 108-mile length across the whole of Surrey and into Kent.

The Greensand Way takes in some of Britain’s most breathtaking sites including the Devil’s Punchbowl in Hindhead and the Surrey Hills. It also passes through numerous sites of special scientific interest such as Leith Hill where a number of rare birds breed, including all three species of British woodpecker.

Ian Lake, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “It’s incredible to think you could climb the height of Snowdon and Ben Nevis combined while walking through leafy Surrey. The Greensand Way is one of the British countryside’s best kept secrets but now more people will be able to discover how truly beautiful it is.

“There’s an amazing view from Leith Hill. From one spot you can see views stretching as far as London and if you look the other direction you can see the sea on the south coast.”

Tom Franklin, Chief Executive of the Ramblers said: “I’m proud of our volunteers across the country who give up their free time to keep footpaths like this open for us all to enjoy.

“The Greensand Way is a wonderful walk through the Surrey and Kent countryside and I thank Surrey Ramblers and the council for their work in bringing this route back to its rightful splendour.”

For walkers who don’t fancy taking on the entire route, the path in Surrey which stretches 55 miles has been split into 10 sections ranging between three and seven miles each.

The path travels over the Surrey Hills of Hascombe, Pitch, Holmbury and Leith, before descending north into Dorking then Reigate and then entering Kent just beyond Limpsfield.

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Ends

Notes to editors

*The total elevation of the hills along the 55 mile Surrey section of the Greensand Way is 8,166ft compared to Snowdon’s 3,559 ft and Ben Nevis’ 4,409ft. Combined this comes to 7,968ft.

A guide and maps are available for download at www.surreycc.gov.uk/greensandway

The route passes through the boroughs and districts of Waverley, Guildford, Mole Valley, Reigate and Banstead and Tandridge.

Please find attached a photo of the official re-launch featuring David Munro, Surrey County Council Vice-Chairman and Tom Franklin, Chief Executive Officer of the Ramblers and a number of members of the Surrey branch of the Ramblers.

For more information contact Surrey County Council media assistant Jacob Leverett on 0208 5419 419 or Jacob.Leverett@surreycc.gov.uk

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