Harting

Harting

Harting is a civil parish in the Chichester District of West Sussex, England, situated on northern flank of the South Downs. It comprises four settlements namely South, East & West Harting and Nyewood.

In the 2001 census the parish covered 3,216 hectares (7,944 acres) and had 616 households with a total population of 1,407. 646 residents were economically active.

The village of South Harting is the largest settlement having two churches, one Anglican and one Congregational. The village also has a school, St Mary & St Paul First School, which takes children from four to ten years old. From 2009, it will accept children up to 11 years old. Alongside the school is the village hall from which a pre-school group operates.

Harting Down

The villages are overlooked by Harting Down, a common owned by the National Trust, and part of the Sussex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Rising to 229 metres, it offers panoramic views over the Weald to the north, to the English Channel and the Isle of Wight to the south.

Because of its elevation Beacon Hill, just to the east of Harting Down, hosted a station in the shutter telegraph chain, from 1796 to 1816, which connected the Admiralty in London to its naval ships in Portsmouth and Plymouth.

Archaeological evidence has suggested that Harting Down was first occupied around 5000 years ago. Neighbouring Beacon Hill is home to a hillfort from the Iron Age, built around 500BC as an animal enclosure and refuge. In addition Cross Ridge Dyke, built around the same time, may have been used to control movement of people and animals along the ridgeway.

A large portion of the down has never been used for modern intensive farming, and is thus an important site representing the chalk grassland that once covered the downs. Plants found on the site include quaking grass and the common spotted orchid, and the down supports animals such as adders, skylarks and several species of butterfly.

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