Route: Serpent Trail (UK)

Location
United Kingdom
Description

This is a well marked route that passes through Kent, Surrey, north east Hampshire and into Sussex.  There is a race along the full (105km) length of the Serpent Trail each year since 2017, and course records are the supported FKTs for this trail.  See the race website.

Explore the heathlands of the South Downs by following the 64 mile long Serpent Trail.

On this walk you will see the beautiful and internationally rare lowland heath habitat, 80% of which has been lost since the early 1800s, often through neglect and tree planting on previously open areas. It is based upon the sandy rocks and soils from which its name derives and has characteristic habitats of heathland, woodland, acid grassland and acid bogs.

Designed to highlight the outstanding landscape, wildlife and history of the greensand hills, you’ll pass through purple heather, green woods and golden valleys. Simply follow the Serpent Trail way-marker discs to explore some of the most breathtaking countryside in the South East.

Heathlands are now rarer than rainforest and one of our most threatened habitats, covering a mere 1% (1,595 hectares) of the South Downs National Park.

In 2002, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) provided a grant to restore this rare habitat and conserve existing areas within West Sussex. The Serpent Trail and the corridor of heathland habitat created along part of it is also important in linking up isolated heathland sites to encourage the recolonisation of once common species, such as the green tiger beetle and Dartford warbler.