Rapeseed Fields South Downs

Spring Evening on Kithurst Hill

What better way to end the working day than a walk around your local area; in my case that meant a walk along the South Downs Way close to Storrington in West Sussex.

There is a rough tarmac track that leads off of the Amberley to Storrington road, the B2139. The track barely signposted from the main road, climbs along the western edge of the old MOD Kithurst Ranges up to a car park on Kithurst Hill.

The car park is located adjacent to the South Downs Way and is an ideal spot to begin an evening walk, far away from the usual rush-hour bustle of Southern England.

South Downs Rapeseed Fields

Early evening in spring is a great time to view the fields of rapeseed at their finest, the blanket of yellow carpets the South Downs far and wide. The low sun casts a wonderful light on the landscape.

Rapeseed is grown for many uses, bio-fuel, lubricating oil, animal feed, vegetable oil but is a possible cause of hayfever and asthma in some people. Fortunately I managed a nice evening stroll amongst the fields with no ill-effects.

The Isle of Wight was visible far on the south-west horizon, with the North Downs looking over my shoulder. I was surrounded by rolling hills of yellow and a deepening blue sky. The perfect way to end the working day.

The TV could wait, dinner could wait. The pace of life, for an hour or so, could wait.

Not far from the car-park at Kithurst Hill, a brisk walk across the now bright yellow fields is the South Downs tank, a MKII Churchill left behind by the Canadian Army in 1942.

As the wildlife swooped, buzzed and sang, the tank silently reminded all that peace in our time comes at a terrible price. This tranquil evening stroll might have been so different over 73 years ago.

I walked around the fields, admiring the views and enjoying the peacefulness of the location. It is surprising how just a few minutes away from modern life can reset the mind and make you feel refreshed.

As the seasons change, so the colour of the landscapes changes but I am sure you will agree; it is always a refreshing change to witness. From bare chalk and flint to a riot of colour in just a few warm weeks.

As it was late in the evening, the promise of dinner and a cup of tea drew me away from Kithurst Hill, back down the path between the crops I walked. Knowing the landscape would look different again in a few weeks. I’d be back for a walk to spot the difference!

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7 thoughts on “Spring Evening on Kithurst Hill”

  1. Hi, just wondering is it too late to visit a rapeseed feild please? I would like to go in the next few days to take some photos. Please advise. Also please send me postcode for best place to view rapeseed feild in Sussex area. I am driving from Crawley. Thanks. Jacobs

    1. Hello, where I currently live in Devon there is now no longer any rapeseed to be seen. The area above Storrington near Pulborough was always my favourite spot to view but a bit earlier in the year.

  2. Thank you for this blog post!
    I was looking for a rapeseed field to walk around in and found your blog.
    Amazing place, the tank also added to the character of the place.
    Brilliant blog, keep going 🙂

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