The Weald /ˈwiːld/ is the name given to an area in South East England situated between the parallel chalk escarpments of the North and the South Downs. It crosses the counties of Sussex, Hampshire, Kent and Surrey. It should be regarded as three separate parts: the sandstone "High Weald" in the centre; the clay "Low Weald" periphery; and the Greensand Ridge which stretches around the north and west of the Weald and includes the Weald's highest points. The Weald was once a vast forest covering this area. The name, Old English in origin, signifies woodland, which still applies today: scattered farms and villages betray the Weald's past, often in their names.
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