Discover National Parks Fortnight 2023
Discover National Parks Fortnight (4 – 17 April) is National Parks UK’s annual celebration of our treasured protected landscapes.
Timed to coincide not only with the emerging spring but also the Easter school holidays across the UK, it will celebrate the countless opportunities to get outside and discover the length and breadth of the UK’s 15 National Parks.
The South Downs is the UK’s newest National Park, established in 2010 for its hundreds of square kilometres of enchanting woodland, bustling market towns, rolling chalk uplands and river valleys.
In 2023, we want people to connect with our great outdoors and the species that live there.
The mosaic of habitat in the South Downs provides unique homes for nature and wildlife.
Our internationally-important chalk grassland comes to life in spring and summer with wildflowers, butterflies and birds.
Lowland heath is a fragile habitat. 95% of it has been lost worldwide and 20% of what is left, is in the UK.
Fragmented by development and forest encroachment, the wildlife in these small islands of heathland remains highly vulnerable.
But great efforts are being made to bring back grazing and to create wildlife corridors, linking the heathlands together, helping the animals and plants that live here to flourish.
On Saturday 15 April, join us at Hogmoor Inclosure for our Secrets of the Heath event, where we celebrate the horrible histories and wonderful wildlife of our lowland heaths.
For early risers, why not join us for a guided dawn chorus walk on Hogmoor before the day properly begins. Places are limited so booking is essential.
With more woodland than any other National Park in England or Wales, they are a vital habitat for a number of species in the South Downs, including barbastelle bats and the hazel dormouse.
It’s no surprise that our brilliant species have inspired stories and folk tales.
Dawn Nelson is a storyteller, as well as the Place and Interpretation Officer for the South Downs National Park.
Watch the videos below to see how she brings to life stories of our special species.
Get Crafty, Get Exploring
To help you really discover your South Downs, we’ve put together some free resources for you to download and print.
- Discover National Parks Activity Sheet
- Swallow and Sun Thaumatrope
- Wide Mouth Pike
- Bug Safari Check List
This is yours to discover
National Parks are the best places to experience our landscape.
That includes stepping out in them for the first time, having fun in them, living in them, farming them, doing business in them, holidaying in them and learning from them.
The South Downs National Park is part of a global family of National Parks. Our unique chalk downland is home to fauna and flora rarely seen anywhere else.
National Parks are yours to discover, experience, enjoy and care for.