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What is the South Downs National Park Trust?

The South Downs National Park Trust is a new charity, established by the South Downs National Park Authority to raise funds to benefit the National Park and the people for whom it was created. 

Why does the National Park need a Trust?

The National Park Authority and its partners have big ambitions for the South Downs: to see more of the land managed for wildlife, more rare habitats protected, more local communities thriving and more people able to access and enjoy the landscapes. This goes far beyond current funding.

The South Downs National Park Trust has been established to help achieve these ambitions, increasing funding for the vital work. Our aim is to work with partners to enhance and protect the South Downs National Park for future generations.

Where will my money be spent?

The Trust’s core costs for the first three years of will be covered by the South Downs National Park Authority, meaning we can focus all funds raised on important projects within the National Park.

Can I donate to a specific area or project?

Where possible we try to keep donations unrestricted so that we can prioritise the most pressing or urgent projects first. From time-to-time we will run specific appeals, like ‘Mend our Way’, which is raising funds for vital improvements on the South Downs Way.

If you have a specific area where you would like to direct your support, please get in touch, we may already have a project waiting for your help.

How will the Trust allocate funding?

Initially we are fundraising specifically for projects already identified as in need within the National Park, such as restoring the South Downs Way, increasing the funding available for young people to access the National Park or creating more accessible ‘Miles without Stiles’ routes. In the longer-term we hope to receive more unrestricted funding which we will then allocate through a grants process.

What projects does the Trust Support?

We support projects that enhance the well-being of people and communities in the South Downs National Park; and people who use the National Park. We use the National Park Partnership Management Plan to ensure that grants are awarded in areas of strategic importance. We track all projects to ensure they can demonstrate impact.

Can I volunteer for the Trust?

We work in partnership with the South Downs Volunteer Ranger Service (VRS) who, in turn, work with many different organisations to look after and help conserve the special qualities of the National Park. Find more information on current volunteer opportunities can be found here.

How is the South Downs National Park Trust governed?

The South Downs National Park Trust has an independent board of six trustees, including one South Downs National Park Authority Member (SDNPA). The trustees are: Julie Fawcett (Chair), Dan Montagnani, Dean Orgill, Toni Shaw and SDNPA Member, Helen Jackson.

How will the South Downs National Park Trust work with the South Downs National Park Authority?

The Trust was established by the South Downs National Park Authority but is entirely independent. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) sets out how the Trust and Authority will work together during the Trust’s first three-years.

Read the Memorandum of Understanding

Will the existence of the Trust change how the National Park Authority is funded?

The Government has recently reconfirmed its funding commitment to English National Parks up to 2019. The SDNPA will continue to make the case that this should continue into the future, working with colleagues at other national parks and National Parks England.

The South Downs National Park Trust will provide additional funding for new projects – both by the National Park Authority and its partner organisations.

Will the Trust impact other charities working in this part of the country?

Because the Trust will fundraise for work to care for the National Park any local charities also working to this aim should benefit from increased investment in the South Downs.

Need more information?

For more information about the South Downs Trust please speak to James Winkworth – or 01730 814810