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Following Government advice to stay safe and protect the NHS, we are working hard to continue to deliver for you. Find information here on how to enjoy the National Park virtually, and how our services are operating during this time.

Can you help with South Downs Covid-19 research?

Can you help with South Downs Covid-19 research?

People living in East Sussex are being invited to take part in a research study to give their thoughts on how Covid-19 has changed their relationship with the South Downs.

The study is being led by the National Trust, South Downs National Park Authority and partners as part of the lottery-funded Changing Chalk project – a new inspiring initiative aiming to reverse the decline in chalk grassland and help connect people with this special landscape.

As well as its natural beauty, the South Downs’ chalk grassland – often likened to “Europe’s rainforest in miniature” – is known for its incredible abundance of rare wildlife and was a key reason for the designation of the National Park 10 years ago.

The Changing Chalk project is focused on the eastern range of the Downs, north of Brighton and Hove to Eastbourne. The National Lottery Heritage Fund grant provides funding for a wider range of activities to connect people with the chalk landscape, such as guided walks/workshops, organised events and volunteering. The partners are currently thinking about what these might be, and who would be interested in taking part. By participating in the study you can help shape these.

The partners are particularly interested in how people’s relationship with the Sussex Downs has changed since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic – and whether this brings new opportunities for people to enjoy the Downs that the Changing Chalk project could support.

They are looking for 500 people to contribute to the research project by filling in a 10-minute digital survey. Everyone who participates will be entered into a prize draw to win £100 of Amazon vouchers.

The survey will run to the end of September.

Trevor Beattie, Chief Executive of the South Downs National Park Authority, said: “We know the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked renewed interest in connecting with local green spaces and, particularly in our case, the South Downs. This important research will help us to unpack this general trend in greater detail – looking at the relationship people have with the Downs during and since lockdown and what we can do to create more opportunities for people to enjoy, learn about and care for this incredibly special chalk grassland landscape.”

Take part in the survey by visiting