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South Downs farmer's landmark 'E' to celebrate the jubilee
A GIANT E has been cut into the South Downs as a permanent reminder of the jubilee year.
The creation has been fashioned by clearing trees on the north face of the Downs above the village of Firle and is 100 yards in length.
The scheme is similar to the giant V in Streat, East Sussex, which celebrated Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.
Sussex farmer Carola Godman- Irvine has been campaigning for a permanent memorial to mark the historic year for several months.
She said: “It has been a real community effort and it wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the generosity of a number of local businesses.”
Among the firms which offered its services were the Winner Group, Sussex Tree Surgeons, Coppards Plant Hire and CB Groundwork and Construction.
She added: “They said they wanted to help out so they could tell their children and grandchildren in years to come that they were part of it.
“I think that’s really nice.”
The Burgess Hill farmer toyed with the idea of planting additional trees in the shape of an E to represent the Queen’s initial.
However, due to stringent regulations and the wish of the National Park Authority to clear much of the area she decided to clear the E into the trees.
“We’ve been working through gale force wind and torrential rain but we are just about there.
“We just need to clear some of the felled wood and we’re done.
“Everything is a bit grey and brown at the moment but it will look beautiful in the spring.”
This iconic image will be visible for miles around and can even be seen from the A27.
Satellite imaging was used to plot the E and permission has been given by Natural England and the South Downs National Park Authority.
The project has received no funding and instead has relied on volunteers to clear the woodland and local companies to lend machinery to help them.
Phil Belden, director of operations for the South Downs National Park, said: “Fewer than five per cent of the South Downs National Park remains as chalk grassland so work to clear scrub with follow-up grazing to con- serve and enhance this precious land- scape is good news.”
An official opening with a member of the royal family is planned for the spring.