With its wide open spaces, clean fresh air and wonderful vistas, the South Downs National Park has been a place to recharge the batteries for people of all ages over the past week.
And now, with a sunny Bank Holiday and half-term holiday on the way, the National Park Authority is asking people to protect themselves, their families and local communities by avoiding busy hotspots, exploring quieter places, coming by bike or walking, only parking in car parks and observing the three Rs of restraint, responsibility and respect.
Trevor Beattie, Chief Executive of the South Downs National Park Authority, said: “The South Downs National Park is a wonderful breathing space that is needed by people, perhaps now more than ever before.
“In order for everyone to be able to enjoy the National Park safely, we would urge people to avoid popular visitor spots and be mindful of our dedicated farmers who have been keeping food supplies going during the pandemic.
“With a sunny week ahead, many families will be seeking to head to busy coastal spots and given the crowds in recent days, we would urge people to stay safe by exploring quieter areas of the National Park where they can safely socially distance. With over 3,330km of rights of way, there is plenty of space to get out safely while observing the three Rs.”
With over 3,300km of rights of way in the South Downs National Park, there is plenty of space for people to enjoy getting outside while social distancing.
Visitors are being asked to observe:
- Restraint in the distance travelled. The Government advice is still to stay at home as much as possible.
- Responsibility for not just your own health but the health of those around you by observing 2m social distancing at all times from those who are not members of your own household. If you arrive at a site that is already busy, please find an alternative.
- Respect for the communities visited and the wildlife of the National Park, particularly by avoiding visitor hotspots, respecting farmers’ land by sticking to the path, taking litter home and keeping dogs on the lead. We are also urging people to journey, wherever possible, by foot or bicycle. If car parks are busy, please don’t park on the verges or block access roads. Please don’t bring barbecues as the land is tinder dry and there is a fire risk.
People can find more information on the Discovery map on the South Downs National Park’s website at https://maps.southdowns.gov.uk/
Hundreds of walking and cycling routes can also be found on the View Ranger App or by going to https://my.viewranger.com/places/gb/south-downs-walks
The OS Maps app and website has also produced a helpful resource for people to discover green spaces close to where they live. Visit https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/greenspaces
Remember that although our partners are working hard to reopen the car parks and toilets they manage, many are still closed while they work out how to ensure social distancing to keep their visitors safe. Most businesses also remain closed so please check the website of the organisation managing the car park or facility that you are intending to visit.
Please note the National Park Authority does not own or manage any toilet facilities or car parks.
The full advice can be found at www.southdowns.gov.uk/national-park-authority/our-work/coronavirus-covid-19-update/.
For those of you who can’t visit right now we are still committed to bringing the National Park virtually to you. Please read our latest edition of South Downs View by visiting www.southdowns.gov.uk/national-park-authority/our-work/publications/south-downs-view/