A 100-Mile Conversation is a collaborative project designed by Nathan Burr and Louis Buckley.

In April and May 2013 we walked the length of the South Downs Way, starting in Winchester and ending at Beachy Head, holding a number of conversations along the way that explored suicide and end of life issues.

Winchester to Exton

The walk begins in Winchester under a cloudy sky. Crossing the M3 motorway, the path travels through the Chilcomb valley, and the conversation focuses on personal connections to landscape, walking, and to suicide.

Sustainability Centre to Cocking

On the second day, standing in bright sunshine on top of Old Winchester Hill, archaeologist Alex Godden speaks about the burial mounds found on top of the Downs. Alex talks neolithic long barrows, communal graves, and the tangled relationship between history and myth.

Exton to the Sustainability Centre

Al Blake, a natural burial expert, gives a tour of the Natural Burial Centre he manages. Al points out wild flowers, fresh graves, and talks about the different ways people think about death.

Sustainability Centre to Cocking

Person-centred therapist Paul conducts two mobile therapy sessions while walking. After the sessions everyone is asked to lie down and focus on their feelings connected to walking and suicide.

Cocking to Chanctonbury Ring

As the sun begins to set, Charles Walker and a team of paranormal investigators arrive at Chanctonbury Ring. Charles talks about the Roman temple that once stood on the site, about UFO sightings, and describes how, in the 1970s, he witnessed a man levitate.

Chanctonbury Ring to Devil's Dyke

At dawn on May 1st, the Chanctonbury Morris Men welcome in the spring with songs and dancing on top of the Downs. Bells jangle, sticks clash, and a newborn lamb is licked clean by its mother in a nearby field.

Devil's Dyke to Ditchling Beacon

The first of the project’s public events is a walk from Devil’s Dyke near Brighton, with three talks about assisted suicide and euthanasia. Anthropologist Naomi Richards tells the story of Sheila, a woman from Eastbourne who travelled to Dignitas in Switzerland to end her life.

Lewes to Southease

Just off the main path, near the University of Sussex, sociologist Ben Fincham joins the walk to discuss the three years he spent studying suicide, and describes how the complex social reasons for many suicides are often ignored.

Cuckmere to Beachy Head

'Listener' Michelle Moss describes the ethos of the Samaritans and what volunteering for them means to her. She reflects on what it’s like to speak to someone who is about to end their life, and asks "who might we turn to in times of trouble?"

Beachy Head

The journey ends where the South Downs Way meets the English Channel at Beachy Head, with a cliff-top tea party in the mist.