Family stories help to map out the unknown

Crews tackle the fire at Browndown, in Gosport, which has left land visibly blackened and scorched. Picture: Portchester Fire Station on Twitter (@Portchester28)

Firefighters battle 300m heath fire at Browndown in Alver Valley in Gosport 

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FAMILIES with stories or memories of the South Downs woods are being asked to share these tales as part of project to find what secrets lie beneath the national park.

The project, run by the South Downs National Park Authority, has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and looks to leave no stone unturned in the quest for knowledge.

The scheme is called Secrets of the High Woods, and is a community-based archaeology project which plans to map out the unknown stories and archaeology beneath the woodlands.

The group wants stories of farming practices in or around the woodland, forestry skills, stories or memories related to industry that took place in the forest, memories of how the local woodland has changed over time and ways that the South Downs woodland has been used for recreation, sport or relaxation in the past.

Project manager Sarah Rance-Riley said: ‘Even though this project is an archaeological one it is important for us to tap into the precious local knowledge.’