A Citizens Panel is a group of residents (usually 1,000 people) who are surveyed regularly about their opinions on a particular issue, or set of issues.
The South Downs National Park Citizens Panel was set up in 2017 and is made up of residents who live within the National Park or near to the Park boundary. In the last three years its members have been surveyed at least twice a year on topics that affect the National Park and surrounding area.
Many of them have also taken part in specific projects, such as testing our website. You can find out more about how we have made use of some of this information further down the page.
The South Downs National Park Authority is the first UK National Park Authority to have a Citizens Panel which gives us an exciting opportunity to engage directly with residents about important matters. We are always looking to recruit new people to the panel. Scroll down to find out how to join.
To find out more about the SDNP Citizens Panel, please read the FAQs below
- What are SDNP Citizens Panel members asked to do?
Panel members are asked to take part in two surveys a year and some may also be invited to take part in further research, but only if you want to. To keep you updated on what’s going on in the South Downs National Park and in the Authority we will also send you an e-newsletter twice a year.
Involvement is entirely voluntary, and panel members may opt out at any time.
- What do SDNP Citizens Panel members get for taking part?
Those who complete a survey will be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win one of three £50 cash prizes or a £50 donation to a charity of their choice. If you are chosen to participate in further research, there will also be an additional cash incentive or charity donation.
How has the SDNP Citizens Panel helped the Authority so far?
Panel members have provided the South Downs National Park Authority with valuable insights and feedback. Some examples of the ways in which this data is being used already, or will be used in the future, are:
- Our Volunteer team has used the results from a survey about volunteering opportunities to diversify their offering and help them recruit a wider range of volunteers
- Our Heathlands Reunited team is using the results on dog walking behaviour and awareness of the Take the Lead campaign to develop their work over the final year of the project.
- Our Communications Team are utilising feedback on our website, and insight into social media sites people most use, and how people access information when planning days out, to update their communications strategy
- Our Health and Wellbeing Officer has developed a health and wellbeing strategy based on feedback about issues the SDNPA should focus on over the next few years.
Occasionally, we invite panel members to take part in one-off research studies. Recent studies include testing our website, reviewing the local plan policies maps, and feeding back on design in the National Park as part of the Peoples’ Choice Design Review Award.
- I would like to join the SDNP Citizens Panel. What do I do?
It’s easy. Click on the button below to complete a short registration form, or email CitizensPanel@southdowns.gov.uk if you want to find out more before committing to joining the panel.
Please note that you must live in one of the following postcode areas to be able to become a panel member: BN, GU, PO, RH or SO.
- Citizens Panel Research Reports
- Citizens Panel Autumn Survey 2019 Final Report
- Citizens Panel Spring Survey 2019_Final Report
- Citizens Panel Autumn Survey 2018 Final Report
- Citizens Panel Spring Survey 2018 Final Report
- Citizens Panel Profile 2018 Final Report
- Citizens Panel Autumn Survey 2017 Final Report
- Citizens Panel Recruitment Report
- Citizens Panel Newsletters
- Who manages the SDNP Citizens Panel?
M·E·L Research, a social research and behavioural insight consultancy, have been commissioned by South Downs National Park Authority to manage the SDNP Citizens Panel for the next 3 years. They were established in 1984 and have over 35 years’ experience. M·E·L Research are a company partner of the Market Research Society and have a wealth of experience in the social research field. For further information on M.E.L Research please click here.
If you require any further help with regards to the SDNP Citizens Panel or are having difficulty accessing any of the information, please contact Sophi Ducie at M·E·L Research by email at email@example.com or call the FREEPHONE number: 0800 0730 348.
If you sign up to the SDNP Citizens Panel, information you provide to M·E·L Research will only be used for research purposes and you will not be personally identifiable in any analysis or reports. M.E.L Research work to the code of conduct of the Market Research Society. They hold all information securely and strictly in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). They are also a fully accredited MRS Fair Data Partner and ISO 9001:2015 accredited organisation.
If you would like more information about who M·E·L Research are and how they use the information you’ve provided including your privacy rights and right to withdraw your consent at any time please visit http://www.melresearch.co.uk/page/privacypolicy.