Sculpture in memory of Sussex Downs stalwart

C110995-1 JPOS Mid Jun16 Nathan  Photo Louise Adams''National Parkland's Bruce Middleton alongside the newly installed wood sculpture near Lodsworth which celebrates the life of Lord Nathan.
C110995-1 JPOS Mid Jun16 Nathan Photo Louise Adams''National Parkland's Bruce Middleton alongside the newly installed wood sculpture near Lodsworth which celebrates the life of Lord Nathan.
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An unusual sculpture has appeared on a farm track near Lodsworth, dedicated to a man who led an organisation championing the Sussex Downs.

Walkers and horse-riders on this path, with its spectacular view of the Downs, are surprised when they come across Nathan’s Post, carved from oak with a chainsaw.

It has been there for a month or so and it is a memorial to Lord Nathan, the second chairman of the Sussex Downs Conservation Board, an early forerunner of the South Downs National Park Authority.

Roger Nathan, an environmental campaigner and a prominent solicitor in the City, lived at Lickfold and was passionate about the Downs.

His stint as the conservation board’s chairman was full of high points.

After his death in July 2007, at the age of 84, colleagues decided they wanted a memorial.

One of them, Bruce Middleton, now an area manager with the new national park authority, was given the project and asked to come up with an idea for a sculpture.

“I found a chap called David Lucas, a chainsaw sculptor at Horsted Keynes. He cut it from a big, solid piece of oak,” Mr Middleton said.

“It stands about 7ft high and the most important thing is the violin on the top, which came about because I was looking through an obituary of Lord Nathan and found that he loved the violin and I believe he played it himself.”

The fox features as a creature of the countryside and the oak apples and leaves relate to Lord Nathan’s war record with the 17th/21st Lancers.

A brass plaque tells passers-by that the sculpture is called Nathan’s Post.

It also carries a line from Hilaire Belloc’s poem ‘Duncton Hill’ which was chosen as a fitting tribute: ‘He does not die who can bequeath some influence to the land he knows’.