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Access Network and Accessible Natural Green Space Study

Access Network and Accessible Natural Green Space Study

In 2013, the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) carried out a study to better understand how well the green open access areas of the National Park serve people living in and around it, and the potential pressures on this resource.

The study supports both the emerging Local Plan and the delivery of policies contained within the National Park Partnership Management Plan (PMP) providing an initial evidence base for Green Infrastructure within and around the South Downs National Park.

The full study is made up of three reports:

  1. Main Report – this provides a strategic overview of the whole study area
  2. Supporting Information – this provides analyses for each of the district authorities of the study area
  3. Appendix – contains further methodology and data

The findings will help us to work with our partners to prioritise resources on the areas of greatest need and opportunity.

Joint Work

In 2012-2013, East Hampshire District Council (EHDC)and South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) jointly undertook evidence work for Green Infrastructure planning and developed a GI Strategy for the whole of East Hampshire District in support of the EHDC / SDNPA Joint Core Strategy.

East Hampshire Green Infrastructure Strategy 2011 – 2028

Ongoing Work


In January 2014, the draft study was circulated for limited consultation to key partners.

We also sought views on whether there should be a sub-regional approach to green infrastructure planning, how such work should be taken forward.

The study was generally well received and over 80 per cent of respondents thought that a National Park-wide green infrastructure approach was a good way forward. The final published reports (above) have taken into consideration the comments received during consultation.  However, projected housing figures and associated analyses of Accessible Natural Green Space have not been updated. This information represented a snapshot for development based upon the best available information from Local Planning Authorities as the time of compilation (2012). These figures constantly change and have not therefore been updated. They are only intended to be indicative of where development pressures are being experienced.

Consultation Findings Report

Non Technical Summary

We have now published a Non Technical Summary aimed at a wider audience that is illustrated by case study material, indicating where the evidence from the study is taking us for elements of South Downs National Park Management.


"The Downs...too much for one pair of eyes, enough to float a whole population in happiness."