Students from a Petersfield school have made a lasting link with the town and the South Downs after excelling on a field trip.

There’s been a groundswell of appreciation for Churcher’s College after pupils laid the first section of new permissive path from Penns Place to the Serpent Trail.

The community path venture is part of a three-year project funded by the Ramshill college and the South Downs National Park Authority.

The first section took months to plan and two days to complete with several staff members and more than 100 Year 9 and 12 pupils helping with its construction.

Churcher's College Path Work PIC2
A Churcher's student hard at work (Churcher's College)

The group was headed up by the school’s Green Team guru Tony Ostersen with headteacher Simon Williams and town mayor, Cllr JC Crissey, joining forces to officially open the section close to the Rother.

The path will provide safe, level and all-weather access as the area often becomes a muddy bog in winter months.

“Churcher’s College is always delighted to contribute to the Petersfield community to which we belong,” said Mr Williams.

“This project enabled our students to put their path building skills to use again; we have previously built community paths at Merritt’s Meadow and around the Petersfield Heath Pond. 

Churcher's College Path PIC3
More than a 100 students took part in the project (Churcher's College)

Mr Williams added: “When the need was identified for an accessible permissive path at Penns Place, we leapt at the chance to take on the project. We will be back over the next two years to complete the remaining sections for Petersfield to enjoy.”

The path also runs through the new Tercentenary Wood which was planted by Churcher’s College in 2022 as part of the school’s 300th anniversary celebrations.

The path project also gave students the chance to carry out some essential tree maintenance on the 1,800 English specimens planted, ensuring the wood continues to grow and flourish.