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With England in a national lockdown, the Government advice is to stay at home. Find information here on how to enjoy the National Park virtually, and how our services are operating during this time.

Ten questions with…Katie Sharp

Ten questions with…Katie Sharp

Three words that sum up your job in planning?

Collaboration, opportunities and variation


Okay, so what’s your role at the National Park?

I am Development Management Officer. This role involves determining a wide range of planning applications around the National Park, my ‘patch’ is the Eastern end of the Park.


What appealed to you about working in planning?

No planning application is the same, which means that the diverse load is constantly challenging my knowledge and skills, and helping me further progress in my planning career.


Can you describe your typical day?

Since lockdown, my day usually begins by walking my dog Milo, then sitting down with a cup of tea and starting work which includes emails and report writing. I usually use lunchtime to run, cycle or do some yoga, which sets me up for focusing on an afternoon of work. My day ends with another dog walk, and after that I can finally put my feet up!


Best thing about working in planning for a National Park?

The best thing is getting to explore the National Park and visiting places you wouldn’t get to see as a visitor. In addition to this, I get to work alongside an array of specialists who help broaden my knowledge in other subject areas.


What do you love about the South Downs National Park?

I love how varied and special the landscapes are across the whole of the National Park. Being out in these spaces helps with my mental wellbeing and satisfies my love for nature and the outdoors.


Currently reading/watching?

Reading: A Life Without Limits: A World Champion’s Journey by Chrissie Wellington

Watching: The Mandalorian


If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Any type of cake!


Who inspires you?

Sir David Attenborough. One of my first memories of Attenborough is watching Blue Planet, which kickstarted my love for nature. Ever since, I have been inspired by his work and his current work on climate change.


Describe your perfect day (when not working, of course!)

My days off are normally very active! So, it would have to be a long walk or run with my dog, followed by a café stop to eat lots of cake.