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South Downs Centre - Temporary Closure

The South Downs Centre in Midhurst is temporarily closed to visitors but our team are still on hand to answer your calls and emails.

Access Projects

Access Projects

Find out what projects the South Downs National Park Authority is currently supporting to enable better access for people to enjoy the beautiful countryside within the Park.

Click on the  title below for more details about Access projects we are currently supporting, which partners we are working with to deliver the projects and how these projects meet the outcomes of our Partnership Management Plan. You can also see where in the National Park these Access projects are on our interactive map (indicated in dark blue).

For case studies and details of past Access projects, click here

  • Beggars Bush Walk For All, Community Nature Area

    The aim of this project is to upgrade existing Public Rights of Way (PROW) and permissive paths and the creation of a new Permissive route, including:

    • Creating increased opportunities for circular walks to and from the urban fringes
    • Enhancing the visual landscape – remodelling of unofficial parking area
    • Expanding, enhancing and connecting key habitats – chalk grassland, hedgerows and rough grass margins
    • Creating opportunities for community engagement through hedgerow planting and ongoing management
    • Providing opportunities for interpretation of the NP, farmed landscape and cultural heritage

    Supporting farming operations through stakeholder engagement and installation of fencing and kiss gates to aid recreation management

    Partners: Sompting Estate & Sompting Parish Council

    PMP outcomes:  1.1 (Protect Landscape Character), 1.2 (Create Green Infrastructure), 3.1 (Join up Habitats), 4.1 (Conserve Heritage), 5.2 (Improve accessibility), 7.1 (Improve Health and Wellbeing), 8.1 (Increase Volunteering).

  • Egrets Way- Phase 5

    The Egrets Way scheme is about improving access and encouraging sustainable travel with a the key aim of increasing walking and cycling in the local area. It will provide a safe and predominantly off-highway path of approximately 10km in the Lower Ouse Valley between the county town of Lewes and the Enterprise Zone and port of Newhaven linking the coastal National Cycle Route 2 (NCN2) with the South Downs Way at Southease and NCR90 in Lewes which is being extended eastwards to Polegate by Highways England.

    Phase 5: The 1.5km section from Riverside Park, Newhaven into the National Park and Piddinghoe.

    You can find out more about the Egrets Way Project here.

    Partners: Sustrans and the Egrets Way Project community group

    PMP outcomes: 5.2 (Improve accessibility)

  • Miles without Stiles 

    The Miles without Stiles initiative is all about improving access to the South Downs for people with limited mobility. By identifying routes without steps, stiles and steep gradients and by carrying out improvements to path surfacing and access furniture we working to make the South Downs one of the most accessible National Parks.

    To date we have replaced more than 30 stiles with gates improving access for wheelchair users, families with pushchairs, dog walkers and less agile walkers and created six Miles without Stiles route guides available to download here.

    We are grateful to Gatwick Airport and the Friends of the South Downs who have provided funding to support for this work, and to the South Downs Volunteer Rangers who have installed many of the new gates.

    You can download walking leaflets here.

    Partners: Gatwick Airport and Friends of the South Downs

    PMP outcomes: 5.2 (Improve accessibility)

    New Gate at Amberley, West Sussex on path 3502 (before and after):

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