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Plumpton College Camping

UK England South East England East Sussex Lewes

  • Laundry
  • Dogs welcome
  • Laundry
  • Short walk to pub
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
  • Beaches
  • Short walk to the pub
  • Walking
Simple summer camping and bell-tent glamping in the shadow of the South Downs

The sun, moon and stars seem to have aligned this summer to bring a few extra camping pitches to the South Downs National Park. A cancelled festival, an empty field at an agricultural college and a guy with a can-do attitude have all combined to bring Plumpton College Camping to life. In sight (and striding distance) of the chalky South Downs ridge, this 60-pitch, tents-only campsite will be welcoming campers for a few weeks in July and August.

It’s one of two temporary campsites being operated under the 'Sun and Moon Holidays' banner, first in 2020 and now again in 2021; the brainchild of Scott Doane who is a dab hand at campsite logistics having run a well-being festival for the last five years. The set-up is a simple one with toilets and showers provided by the college, washing-up facilities in the open air and flat, spacious, grassy pitches for anyone wanting to stay in this frankly idyllic location. And if setting up a tent is not your idea of fun, Scott will set one up for you. He has 20 bell tents available to hire – with beds (but no bedding).

This part of Sussex, so easy to reach from London and Brighton, is well served by camping and glamping sites but demand is understandably high. Plumpton College Camping offers the opportunity for more families to holiday here in a year when other longer-established sites may be turning people away. And, in addition to that, the location is a stand-out selling point. It’s less than a mile to the top of the Downs from where you can walk west towards Ditchling Beacon, the highest point on these hills, or east towards Offham, enjoying far-reaching views all the way.

There’s a pub within walking distance and many more in the surrounding Sussex countryside. This is the rural side of the Downs and the leisurely pursuits of walking or cycling to a pub garden or picnic spot are quite the done thing. Head over the hills though and you can soon be in Brighton, the bustling, boho capital of the South Coast, with its enormous shingle beach and quirky shopping laines. The quaint town of Lewes is about the same distance and well worth a wander. Antique shops, book shops and independent cafes line the streets and the twice-monthly farmers’ market is great for picking up local produce. Take it back to camp, stoke up the barbecue and wait for the stars to come out over your Sun and Moon campsite in the South Downs.

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The site’s ten toilets and six showers are inside the college buildings with washing-up facilities for campers outdoors. Bell tents are set up simply with camp beds and mattresses (bring your own bedding). Bell tents also have solar-powered lamps inside and a table and chairs outside. Campfires in fire pits and barbecues are allowed as long as they are off-ground.

Suitable For

Campers, glampers, dogs – yes. Campervans, caravans, motorhomes, large groups – no.


The campsite is within the South Downs National Park. The area is particularly popular for walking, running, horse riding and cycling. The South Downs Way is a short (steep) walk from site. Brighton with its wealth of attractions including the beach, famous Palace Pier and Royal Pavilion is just 10 miles away. There’s plenty of information about the many things to do on the Visit Brighton website. If the bright lights are a bit much, try the lovely market town of Lewes which has its own tourist information site as well as a good range of eateries and shops – with an especially strong line in antiques and books. It’s also home to Pells Pool, an historic outdoor swimming pool.

Food & Drink

The nearest shop is a couple of miles along the road in Plumpton Green or, for a meal out, try The Half Moon Pub (01273 890253), a walk of less than half a mile from site. There are more options in Ditchling, three miles along the road. Choose from very popular pubs, The Bull (01273 843147) and The White Horse Inn (01273 842006) and in the other direction there’s The Blacksmiths Arms (01273 47291) in Offham. Lewes has a very successful farmers’ market which takes place on the first and third Saturdays of the month (9am-1pm). The town also has a wide range of places to eat out as well as independent shops and supermarkets. Brighton, of course, offers even more choice.

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Rated ★★★★★ over 42 reviews


Lovely flat pitches but be prepared to boil water to wash the dishes

We camped with 2 other families on the Bank Holiday weekend. Everyone had a nice time but think it's helpful to share our experience. The campsite site is positioned within the rugby grounds of an equestrian college which appeared to be well maintained. Our pitches were very flat but we arrived slightly earlier than the 2pm checkin time (previously agreed with the owner due to the adverse weather), we were able to select a nice pitch on the far side which enjoyed some far reaching undisturbed views. We were disappointed to see that a very large group of 10+ tents pitched next to us later in the day so this is something to be aware of. According to this site no large groups are allowed. Washing up and onsite facilities were not great. The washing up facilities were merely sinks offering cold water (or for the one alternative sink area, very luke warm water). Where pan washes were required we simply resorted to boiling hot water as thankfully we had a stove which was frustrating. Where lighter washes were needed, we used the sinks but hand santisers should have been provided to ensure an improved level of cleanliness. They also should have been cleaned more often as people were inconsiderately leaving sponges and other cleaning items. With regards to the ladies washroom and toilet facilities, wipes were provided which I assumed were for hands. Sanitary bins were full which clearly shows that the inadequate frequency of cleaning. One of the ladies's showers was sufficiently warm although there were complaints about some alternatives being cooler. One of the chaps from our group advised that the mens' toilets and washroom facilities were flooded and without soap all day on the Saturday. We hired a fire pit - basically a metal tub at £10 with fire wood for £8. It felt like day light robbery but it offered a degree of warmth and the kids enjoyed their toasted mallows. Would we return? Yes, but with a replenished stock of camping gas and portaloos!

Located near to South Downs for amazing walks - but pricey for what is provided

Booked as this was the only site with availability even though it was expensive compared to many other places. Nice people running the place and we had a good time overall, but I wouldn't say it was worth the extra cost. Positive - fab location near the coast and right on the South Downs for fabulous walking. Visited the Jolly Sportsman which was a lovely 30min walk away which did fantastic food and is dog friendly. Negatives - although overall we enjoyed the stay, sadly the site lacked some of the facilities and fun features for kids that you would hope for the price. Loos were a long walk, washing up facilities very limited and showers were not kept clean and you had to wade through inches of other peoples used water/soap to use them. The site was rather crowded too, with no landscape or ability to make your pitch more private - just an open field really. No recycling, just one big bin - which was a terrible mistake on behalf of the organisers. Such a simple thing to do.
Aug 31, 2020 by Loolibells

Basic camping

Beaches nearby was very misleading, half an hour's drive. Paid £15 per person, even the children. Long walk to showers and toilets, strange going to a college building to use them, through a car park not in the field. Too far away. Disappointed

Good site and helpful staff

We chose this site for 4 nights because it was all we could find available at a peak time and short notice. It was the most expensive site we have ever used but we accepted that we had no alternative. The site was spacious and mostly occupied by families. The location was away from the road and well situated for walking and cycling. It was close to full on our arrival so our choice of pitch was very limited and we were next to a large group of young people who continued to be noisy well beyond the 10pm quiet time. We tolerated it the first night. On the second we politely asked them to be quiet and this had a partial effect. We were planning to make the management aware before the third night but they had checked out by then. Learning point for management is to make a night-time patrol and remind campers of the rules they had signed up to on booking. Toilet and shower facilities in the college were plentiful and clean though signposting was somewhat ambiguous. A communal fridge/freezer would have been welcome but we recognise COVID restrictions might prevent this. Our tent was destroyed by high winds on our last day when we were off site. The managers made efforts to save it in our absence. They invited us to use a spare staff tent for our final night, for which we were very grateful and wish to acknowledge their kindness.
Forgot to mention that no separation of waste for recycling. Everything went in one skip so we took our recycling home. Very disappointing in 2020 and so close to the UK green capital of Brighton but recognise this might be a college policy over which Sun and Moon have no influence. If so then shame on the college who should be setting an example for their students.
Aug 27, 2020 by Simon Verified Review

super relaxing, just what we all needed!

The crew was really helpful welcoming us on the way in and checking if all was ok throughout our stay. The site is beautiful and pitches were very generous and appropriately spaced out. The facilities at Plumpton College were perfect and surroundings superb! Lovely walks and chilling out around the fire in the evening - just what was needed!!!
Aug 24, 2020 by Josefine Mathilde Smith

Great location, fab facilities.

Excellent few days camping at Plumpton college. Met on arrival by a very happy and helpful young lady with all the info we needed. Great location and all very well organised. Shower block and toilet facilities very safe with plenty of sanitizer and hand wash. Onsite pop up shop with snacks, bacon sarnies and kids toys. Prices very reasonable. Nice to see the organisers checking in on us on the first night about 10am - nice personal touch. Would definitely recommend.
Aug 24, 2020 by Anita Patton Verified Review

Fantastic site & location

We booked last minute but we’re really pleased with the site. The owners are really friendly, we got a big spacious pitch and we hired a fire pit which was good. The facilities at the college at good and there’s lots of them. There are games and tennis and a swing which was good for the kids. We would come again.

Overcrowded, next to busy football pitch

The site was clearly overcrowded, we were asked to pitch next to a busy football pitch, despite making booking at least a month in advance. When we complained about one of us got hit by the ball really hard, we were told the teenagers would be banned from the site, as other people were also complaining, but nothing was really done, and they continued playing. Other spots next to the trees were much nicer but not available at arrival. The staff were friendly, but wouldn't recommend the place for a quiet family weekend, as it was far too busy and lacked an ambient.
Aug 24, 2020 by Mon

Great campsite!

Headed to the campsite with some friends for a weekend away and couldn’t be happier. It’s very well run, with fields for families, young adults and quieter spots. The showers and toilets were clean and the college cafe did a good breakfast. Will definitely go back!
Aug 24, 2020 by Neal Lewis Verified Review

Average camping, good for short stays

We were looking for a campsite with a few mod cons that would make a quick camping trip easy. The field was flat and well laid out. Other campers were considerate and everyone stuck to the quiet hours (though this appears to be pot luck according to the other reviews!) In a lovely setting with easy access to the South Downs Way, pretty local walks and towns. The facilities at the site were very basic. Washing up station was minimalistic. Toilets were a long walk away so bring a porta potty! Showers weren’t too bad (bring flip flops) but NO ONE stuck to social distancing guidelines in the shower block. This isn’t really a campsite issue - more a problem with the whole of society at the moment! Plugs available for phone charging/hairdryer in shower block. Really disappointed that no recycling facilities were available. Took my recycling home with me. Overall not a bad experience but likely to book a different campsite if a better one was available in the future.

Good Facilities

Good camp site. There is a large field for families and children. We stayed in the adults field which was nicer and worked well being able to stay up later. Amazing views of Ditchling Beacon. Good facilities, toilets, showers and washing up area. There is a cafe for breakfast, tea and coffee. It does take away on Friday and Saturday. Only downsides were the price which was slightly higher than other campsites but not unreasonable and small number of charging points.
Aug 24, 2020 by Alice

Very chilled experience.

We chose this campsite because in all honesty, it was one of the few available for a last minute camping holiday. I was a little anxious but I didn't have to be, what a welcome! We were greeted and welcomed, then camped where we wanted where there was a space. We orientated ourselves, found the Plumpton Cafe open and got tea. At night, campers had fires going in fireboxes on bricks then bed. Toilets and showers clean in the morning and a game of tennis to start the day. Lots of things to do on the campsite, play for children and adults - tennis courts and table tennis. Lots to do around the area; walking, beaches and indoor and outdoor places to visit. We went to Worthing and Seaford for beaches, Brighton for rainy day activities such as the Sealife Aquarium. I recommend to Park and Ride in Brighton from Withdean Sports Centre on a family day ticket. I camped with two children and had a thoroughly amazing time. Brilliant campsite and a brilliant holiday.
Aug 22, 2020 by Julia Evans Verified Review

Exceeded our expectations

We had a very enjoyable stay. The site is located in a gorgeous part of the world - great for day trips. We cycled around Stanmer Park, visited Brighton, enjoyed afternoon tea in beautiful Alfriston, enjoyed beaches and of course the stunning South Downs. The pitch sizes generous and nice soft grass underneath. The tennis and swing were very much enjoyed by our kids. The showers and toilets were good but a distance from the tent! Understandably when we saw the set up, there was no hot water for washing up but it would have been nice to know this in advance. We booked last minute and weren’t sure what to expect but we really did enjoy a nice break away. Thank you to the staff who were very cheerful!
Aug 21, 2020 by Halford’s

Lovely site. Gorgeous environment. Good facilities

We enjoyed the stay at Plumpton College campsite. Very nice shower facilities and washing up station. Clean tidy environment. Plenty of social distancing and proper precautions relating to coronavirus. One person writing a review made the the observation “Well it is merely a sports field “ I would counter that. It’s a clean tidy comfortable large grass field. Flat. Perfect for tenting. Barbecues and open fire pits permitted. Friendly helpful support from the local staff. What more could you ask for? All very good and I highly recommend it

Great campsite, good location and nice people!

It was a really great spot. There are lovely walks opposite and a quick drive to the beach, we went to Rottingdean and Saltdean. Both stoney but good for kids as some sand and rock pools when the tide is out. Campsite quiet at night after about 10.30 and not a windy spot which is alway nice for cooking and fires etc. Warm showers that were clean, and flushing toilets always a bonus! Nice setting, we camped in the middle but it looked equally nice round the edges in the shade of the tall trees. Dogs allowed and all on leads. Little shop selling trinkets which the kids loved! Really friendly people running the site and some non scheduled wellbeing activities free to join too.

Relaxed, friendly, spacious and lovely countryside. Good for families and young people. Weekend cafe very handy. off the ground fires allowed.

Great pop up site, set amongst lovely countryside and great for walks. The site is Equipped with enough toilets and showers to cater for all and are cleaned regularly. Simple pot washing facilities but sufficient.The cafe is open on Saturday and Sunday and offers a cooked breakfast and a simple evening meal served by friendly staff. You choose your pitch on arrival and they are big enough for a decent sized family tent. There is wood for sale and fire baskets for hire, but if you have your own and can squeeze it in the car, probably best you bring it a long.Fires need to be raised off the ground. Friendly and relaxed campsite. Nice to find somewhere, where we haven't been told off for sitting around and chatting after 11. Family campsite is quiet after 11 but they are happy for you to stay up and chat quietly around the fire for a lot longer. However, there is someone on site, to come and have a friendly word if you are being too noisy. Would definitely go again and have recommended it to friends.
Aug 19, 2020 by Dilly Rowe Verified Review

Perfect weekend camping

We’ve just returned from the most perfect weekend camping at Plumpton College. We were welcomed by the very friendly and helpful hosts and shown to our pitch. They found us a perfect spot nestled amongst the trees. There was plenty of space, despite there being several groups of people. It was so nice to not be crammed in like on some campsites. The location was fab - perfect for walking and for a day trip to Brighton. In the evenings we sat around our fire pit and enjoyed chatting. Whilst there were a few groups in our field and the adjacent field, everyone was really respectful and there was a lovely chilled out atmosphere. The facilities were great and cleaned regularly. They have set everything out in line with the guidelines for COVID and coupled with all the space, this made the camping experience a safe one in the current climate. The on-site cafe was a great addition. I only had a morning coffee as we ordered take away to the site for our evening meal, but it was delicious. I was surprised to see some negative reviews as I really would struggle to find anything wrong with Plumpton College Camping. We hope to return for another perfect weekend of camping!
Aug 18, 2020 by Hayley Clow Verified Review

Brilliant stay

Lovely clean friendly site, showers and toilets are free, great to have the option to hire a fire pit though we took our own. And we absolutely loved the Gong bath in the mornings!! We took our recycling home as we couldnt see a bin for it.............but we will stay again!

Great couple of days

Fantastic site. Very relaxed with massive pitch sizes, run by super friendly staff.

Brilliant campsite for all

The campsite has a great family area and adults area. The staff are so friendly and make the experience the best it can be. It also has tennis courts and a table tennis table for all to play. The toilets and showers were great, yes a little bit of a walk but they are inside the college building, so made up for the walk. The site is beautiful, surrounded by the countryside. I would highly recommend this campsite! We also stayed an extra night which was easy to arrange.
Aug 17, 2020 by Roxy

Lovely oldschool camping experience

Very simple site but we really liked the set up. Kids loved access to the ping pong table and tennis courts, there was a tightrope set up and a tree to climb. Basic shop in the form of a tent selling a small range of emergency items like marshmallows and incense. Generally a very low key, non commercial vibe in a beautiful part of the country with lots of gorgeous walks and pubs etc locally. Women's showers were fine, I hear the mens could be a bit hot/cold. They were clean though, wasn't a problem for us! We would go again.
Aug 14, 2020 by Jennifer G

Disappointing and overpriced

Essentially, you camp at the College’s rugby field. There is nothing there to enjoy. There isn’t even a single tree. Everything is prohibited and there’s no shade anywhere. The washing up facilities and drinking water tap are a basic DIY exercise. Absolutely nothing cool or enjoyable about this campsite despite the price tag. We felt robbed.
Aug 13, 2020 by Yasmine

Average - some pros and cons

Facilities. Clean toilets and showers. The showers in the mens are cold whenever more than one person is using 1 of the 3 shower stalls. Pop up shop on site for bits and pieces seemed well stocked and reasonably priced. Nice that there is Table Tennis and Tennis available on site. Useful that fire pits and wood are available for hire/sale. Although we had some trouble getting our logs to burn and found it better to forage in the woods for drier material. Campsite I found the site to be just average, the location in general is lovely but the actual campsite is simply a sports field. Locally there are lots of walks, hikes, local villages and Brighton for a medium drive. The campsite itself is flat and surrounded by trees or bushes so there is no views. For me this removed some of the feel of camping that I have experienced with previous sites over the last decade. Given this is a higher priced site it was slightly dissappointing.

Lovely secluded campsite with good facilities

Plumpton College is a lovely little campsite. Scott and Michael were very welcoming and helpful. Plots were well-organised with family area and adults area separated. Dogs were welcomed and highly appreciated. Good toilet/showers facilities with charging points, and a handy breakfast canteen (no real coffee though, only instant!). Excellent walking opportunities along the South Downs. Free tennis & pingpong with bats & balls provided. The only things lacking were recycling bins - we had to put everything into a regular bin - suggest providing separate bins. There was a rumour of emus and some sensitive wallabies on a neighbouring farm but we didn't spot them. The Jolly Sportsman is an excellent pub/restaurant, a nice 35 min walk away.

Lovely, clean, quiet site in beautiful surroundings

No complaints at all from us, other than I wished I’d booked for longer! The site was clean and tidy, plenty of room, even though the Friday night was very busy, still lots of space in between each pitch. The facilities were great and clean. Nice and peaceful at night and everyone adhered to the rules. A lovely stay, enjoyed by all the family and our two dogs!

Great location but expensive

We live in Sussex and regularly camp nearby. There are some amazing campsites and this is a really good location, however, we didnt feel the price of £136 for two nights was justified as you a basically on a rugby pitch. It was all well run and clean but the location is the main selling point and there are many other great campsites around at a lower price.
Aug 9, 2020 by Jen Wilburn

Quiet idyll in wonderful surrounds.

Well-planned and run, scrupulously clean facilities and lovely hosts. Amazing views in every direction and the ambience of the farm made for a charming environment. Plentiful wildlife and birds too - I'd definitely go back and wish I could have stayed longer. Thanks Scott and Michael!

Well-organised, clean and tidy!

Making the most of it's location and temporary 'pop-up' nature, we enjoyed our stay and would recommend it to those looking for a quiet space to explore the South Downs area. The friendly site-manager was very helpful and the site is clean, tidy and well-organised with friendly and respectful campers around us.
Aug 5, 2020 by Robin P Verified Review

Loads of room

Great site with plenty of space. Added bonus of tennis courts, table tennis and dedicated kids area. On site cafe really handy too.
Aug 3, 2020 by Vicky

Lovely campsite

Lovely campsite in great surroundings, close to the South Downs and Brighton. The pitches are big and spaced out and groups can pitch up together. The facilities are clean, the only thing is that it is a long walk to the toilets in the middle of the night! It would be great if they had a couple of nice portaloos in the corner of the campsite. We had a great weekend though and would definitely recommend.
Aug 3, 2020 by Sarah

Relaxing couple of nights

Plenty of space, clean facilities, relaxed, and quiet. Ideal location for Brighton, or the South Downs Way. Recommended!
Jul 31, 2020 by Justin

Beautiful location, family fun and clean and spacious

We loved having the footy pitch for all the kids to play on and the tennis courts, ping pong, there are bats and balls to use and fire pits to hire. We loved going into the woods to get kindling. Ditching beacon is about 10mi in the car with amazing views. Everyone was so friendly and happy I forgot how much I love camping!!!
Jul 31, 2020 by Jodi

Nice pitch with good facilities, but too crowded

We went down to Plumpton College with two other families over the weekend and were warmly welcomed by the staff. The site uses collage's well-maintained lawn field and also uses some of its own facilities (cafe, shower & canteen) under the COVID guidelines, so there were no issues of hygiene and cleanness. The canteen serves breakfast and supper over the weekend which is convenient for some of the campers if you feel skipping some cooking/washing during your stay. In our case, the weather went very bad on Saturday evening and it was hard to find any pubs around to accommodate 11 of us on the night, so we used collage canteen for a dinner which helped us a lot! Only disappointment for us was that the field was a bit too crammed with roughly 50 other campers and you will see them in front of your tent with their cars parked by, so it hasn't got much feeling of wilderness. However, I would say the kids totally loved running around the lawn on barefoot, playing tennis and football. We felt the facilities were well maintained and safe.  I recommend the site for easy-going campers and also a family with children.
Jul 27, 2020 by Tak Verified Review

Great quiet spot for families

We were two families with two teenagers and two 10 year old. The children made the most of the tennis court and the open field to do ball games. We went on a walk along the south down lanes with spectacular views. The site rents fire pits and sells logs at reasonable prices. The starry sky at night was beautiful. The toilets were cleaned regularly and the staff were friendly and helpful. We had a very rainy day when we made the most of the hot cafe breakfast. Will definitely go back.

A good break

I stayed for four nights to explore the South Downs with my dog. We had a good break with plenty of walking and places to visit. The site is spacious and well equipped given its only a temporary site. Scott is very helpful and attentive. I would recommend Plumpton College as a good place for camping.
Jul 24, 2020 by Paul Walker Verified Review

Excellent weekend

What an amazing campsite!! Such beautiful surroundings and each plot had lots of space. The facilities were great and the staff were so friendly. Would definitely recommend!!!

Lovely location but no rules

We stayed Friday to Sunday and we couldn’t have wished for a better pitch, south facing with a spectacular view of the downs and the facilities were excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed the fish and chips on Saturday evening. However, the weekend was ruined by a complete lack of control. There were groups of people singing and shouting and letting dogs off leads until at least 2am Saturday morning. It was a little quieter Saturday night but why didn’t these groups get thrown off the site. Without reassurance that the site rules will be “enforced” we will definitely not be coming again.

Great site but a bit noisy

This is a great pop up site for a quick visit. The facilities were fine, a bit of a walk from the camping field but I didn’t have to queue more than a minute or two for the loo at any point. The cafe with breakfast was great and made everything very easy. The camping field is lovely, flat and spacious with lovely thick grass, wonderful for kids to go barefoot and very easy to get pegs into the ground. Pitches aren’t allocated but markers indicate how far apart tents should be pitched so we had loads of space around our tent. The only downside was several noisy groups on the Friday night which was a bit rubbish for the families with kids being kept awake. The Saturday was much quieter, they seemed to have all worn themselves out by then. If someone from the campsite could go around at 10 to remind groups about the no noise after 10 policy that they all agreed to when booking, this would be a perfect place for a weekend lockdown escape. Lots of people left on the Sunday so I bet it would be really nice midweek.
Jul 20, 2020 by Sarah Jones Verified Review

A pleasant two nights

Very friendly campsite, great for sports with the tennis courts and football goal. Lovely breakfast on the weekend too! Walking distance from the South Downs way but not the best of locations. Definitely worth a visit though.

Great Location, Wonderful Relaxed Feel

I stayed for the weekend alone. There weren't many people camping which made it a very relaxing place to be. Beautiful forest and country walks all around. Toilets and showers were clean. I didn't use the cafe but they provided coffee and food in the morning which was a lovely touch. I received a lovely welcome from a couple of the children there, felt very welcome. Great for groups and families.
Jul 15, 2020 by Dionne Ward Verified Review

South Downs, Piece and Quiet, Friendly Staff - whats not to love

When you come here make sure you take a trip to Lewes and walk up to ditchling beacon - spectacular.
Jul 14, 2020 by Chris & Adam

Lovely and chilled

Pretty location with nice clean facilities and a top fry-up available for breakfast. Not too busy and good area for cycling.
Jul 13, 2020 by David Barrett

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