About the National Park and the National Park Authority

The South Downs National Park

Track at Cuckmere The South Downs National Park uniquely combines a biodiverse landscape with bustling towns and villages, covers an area of over 1,600 km2 and is home to more than 110,400 people.

Recognised as an area of outstanding beauty, the South Downs is also home to a multitude of vibrant working communities steeped in history and traditional English culture, from the ancient cathedral city of Winchester in the west to the bustling market town of Lewes in the east.

Here you can walk, cycle or horse ride along the South Downs Way, enjoy traditional ales in an English country pub, visit arts and crafts festivals at Winchester, Brighton and Arundel, and watch spectacular performances at the world famous Glyndebourne.

Whatever you are looking to do, for residents and visitors alike, the South Downs National Park offers a multitude of things to see and enjoy.

The South Downs National Park Authority

The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) is the organisation responsible for promoting the purposes of the National Park and the interests of the people who live and work within it.

There are 15 National Parks in the UK. Known as Britain’s Breathing Spaces, National Parks are areas of spectacular landscape that include mountains, meadows, moorlands, woods, coasts and wetlands. Mostly farmed landscapes supporting living, working communities, National Parks are areas of protected countryside that everyone can visit and enjoy.

As a National Park, the SDNPA has statutory purposes and socio-economic responsibilities as specified in the Environment Act of 1995.

  1. To conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area.
  2. To promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the Park by the public.

Working in partnership with other Local Authorities and other organisations, it is also the duty of the Authority to seek to foster the economic and social well-being of the local communities within the National Park.

For more information about Britain’s National Parks visit www.nationalparks.gov.uk.