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South Downs Partnership

South Downs Partnership

Whilst the National Park Authority itself is responsible for the delivery of the Purposes and Duty it is committed to working in partnership with stakeholders to achieve this.

The South Downs Partnership is made up of representatives from different sectors, all with an important stake in the future of the South Downs National Park.

South Downs Partnership Terms of Reference


The current members of the Partnership are listed below:

  • Dame Clare Moriarty – Chair of South Downs Partnership

    Image of Clare MoriartyClare is Chief Executive of Citizens Advice.

    She leads the national charity and network of local Citizens Advice charities across England & Wales to deliver their objective of giving people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward.  Clare was previously a civil servant for 35 years.

    Her early career was spent mainly in the Department of Health and the NHS, with senior roles in the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Transport.

    As Permanent Secretary of the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) from 2015 to 2019 she provided leadership for the Department and its delivery bodies, including the English National Parks, to achieve the best outcomes for customers and the environment.

    Building on her experience of leading Defra through preparations for Brexit, Clare led the Department for Exiting the EU from April 2019 until its closure in early 2020.

    After leaving the Civil Service, Clare chaired the Health Foundation Covid-19 impact inquiry and worked with organisations including Transport for London and the Bank of England.

    She is a trustee of the History of Parliament Trust and member of numerous advisory and governance boards.  Clare was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 2020 Birthday Honours.

  • Dr. Emma Woodcock – Health and Wellbeing

    Dr. Emma Woodcock works as a part time GP in Horsham, West Sussex and as a Clinical Director and Education and Workforce Development Lead for Innovations in Primary Care (IPC), the GP Federation in Coastal West Sussex.

    IPC supports 46 practices who serve over 500,000 patients. She also teaches and supports clinical pharmacists and social prescribers in Primary Care and is a member of the West Sussex Social Prescribing Forum.

    Previously she was the Clinical Director for Rural North Chichester Primary Care Network. She worked with Chichester District Council and other Community partners to help set up the Chichester Locality Social Prescribing Service in 2018.

    Dr Woodcock is also a member of a West Sussex wide partnership, including the South Downs National Park, that applied to the Healthy Communities Together programme in 2020 for funding to support the phase 1 development of an integrated community transport service focusing on the rural area and the South Downs National Park.

    The partnership reached the top 10 out of 270 national applications but was unsuccessful this time around. The partnership learnt a great deal from the process and is looking for other funding opportunities in 2021.

    Dr Woodcock is a strong advocate of social prescribing and in particular, the benefits of green social prescribing for our communities in West Sussex.

    She is keen to increase awareness within Primary Care that community organisations may struggle to cope with an increase in referrals from social prescribing teams and to help build relationships between Primary Care and the Third Sector for the benefit of the population.

    In her spare time, she enjoys walking in the beautiful South Downs National Park and more locally on the Knepp Castle Estate in Shipley where she lives nearby with her family.

  • Janet Baah – Community Development

    Image of Janet BaahJanet Baah is a Policy advisor, Education consultant / researcher, politician, campaigner, trainer, Governor, and a non-executive Director. In May 2018, she became the first Ethnic Minority Mayor in Lewes where 99 percent of the population is White British. She empowers women and the youth to have a voice in matters that affect them.

    Janet is a Councillor for Bridge Ward. She sits on the Council’s planning committee, Diversity Working party, Policies and Review working party, as well as chairing the Sustainable Development Goals working party, which she initiated through a motion.

    Along with her time as a Councillor, she has spent ten years as an Inclusive and Equality Advisor on the Protected Characteristics within the East Sussex County Council’s Adult Social Care. She is a non-Executive Director of Breaking Down Barriers CIC, which provides Diversity and Equality Training for Public and Private Organisations, including local authorities and universities. Janet worked with Diversity Resources International through her position as project manager and Director of Research in adult social care and education research for fifteen years.

    Janet has a double honours degree in Political Science and Sociology, a master’s degree in Public Administration (Strategic Management, Policy analysis, Management in Public and Private Sector organisations, Network and Participation, Deliberative Democracy), and has a PhD in International Education and Development – Sussex University. Her interest lies in social justice, schooling choice, experiences, aspirations, and the UN’s Sustainable Development goals. She has presented on issues such as education, culture, and development in the South Saharan African contexts at Cambridge University. She is a certified Associate tutor with the Teaching in the Higher Education Academy. She is also an honorary associate research fellow at the Sussex University’s Centre of International Education.

    Janet was awarded Sussex Woman of the year Award in May 2019 for her outstanding public service and political achievements. She is also a member of the Sussex Mayors’ Association. She serves as a Governor of the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust. As a mentor with the Westminster Foundation’s African Liberal Network, Janet capacitates African women with training and the skills they need to be selected, campaign and win elections in a predominantly male dominated field.

  • Kim Wilkie – Landscape

    Kim Wilkie is a landscape architect and environmental planner.  His first degree was history at Oxford before going on to a masters in landscape architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.

    The combination has encouraged him to read the patterns and stories of the land as inspiration for new design.

    He has sat on a number of UK government bodies, including the Mayor of London’s Public Realm Advisory Group and the Royal Parks Advisory Board.

    He has an Honorary Doctorate from Winchester University, an Honorary Fellowship form the Royal Institute of British Architects, he is a Fellow of the Landscape Institute and a Royal Designer for Industry.

    He published Led by the Land in 2012 with a second edition in 2019.

  • Kate Barrett – Volunteers

    Like most people, I joined the conservation sector as a volunteer, but my journey wasn’t simple. I couldn’t afford to do the necessary volunteer hours when I was younger, so ended up finding work outside of the sector and coming back to it several years later.

    By that time, I had two young children and a career to develop and I found it very difficult to find volunteer opportunities, which worked around my other commitments.

    Five years later, I’m now a Senior Volunteer Development Officer for Butterfly Conservation and passionate about ensuring volunteering is accessible to all.

    Prior to working with Butterfly Conservation, I was a senior manager at a local Council, involved in developing and implementing strategies across large areas and for a wide variety of people.

    In my personal time, I still volunteer when I can, enjoy studying butterflies and wild flowers or walking the dog (responsibly!) in and around the South Downs.

  • Will Atkinson – Farming

    I farm in East Meon at the source of the River Meon with my father. I am now the 5th generation of our family to farm this land. Much of what we do is similar to the previous generations; we have beef cattle, run a flock of sheep and grow arable crops. We also manage our farm for the environment, whether it be habitat creation, managing our rare unimproved chalk hill grassland or re-introducing water voles in the Meon. We find that our extensive approach to farming is key to succeeding in the South Downs National Park.

    My background is in meat processing having worked with Sainsburys for several years.  We sell our beef and lamb to the supermarkets but also offer our meat direct from the farm to the public giving full traceability to the consumer. We run a campsite drawing in people from far and wide to enjoy the best of the National Park. A passion of mine is educating the public on what we do as farmers so to best show how our products are produced. School tours are a big part of this, with many 10 year olds coming round the farm learning everything from the history of our landscape to how much a tractor costs! We love it and hopefully a connection made to farming will help them choose wisely when shopping for their food.

  • Chris Todd – Access and Transport

    Bio coming soon

  • Duncan Ellis – Rural Economy

    Bio coming soon

  • Jenny Williams – Cultural Heritage

    Bio coming soon

  • Richard Betts – Tourism

    Bio coming soon

  • Steve Gilbert – Nature Recovery

    Steve is a freelance environmental consultant, who has worked in nature conservation for thirty years, albeit that his original training was in Law. He spent over 20 years working for the RSPB’s South East England office, latterly as a Conservation Manager, and led the RSPB’s landscape-scale work in the region, including in the South Downs. Prior to that he worked in local government for several years, and managed Kent County Council’s work on the North Downs Way National Trail. More recently he has undertaken a number of projects as a consultant for the Sussex Wildlife Trust, including helping to deliver the recently-opened Rye Harbour Discovery Centre.

    Steve has a strong commitment to environmental protection and enhancement, including nature recovery and integrating conservation with wider land use considerations, especially the farmed landscape. He passionately believes in making nature accessible to everyone. He has lived in Shoreham-by-Sea, within walking distance of the National Park boundary, for over 25 years

  • Susi Owusu – Communities outside the National Park

    Bio coming soon

  • Tom Ormesher – Water

    Bio coming soon


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