• Dorset National Park Team

The South Downs National Park: Sharing Experiences

View a video of the presentation and discussion organised by the Dorchester Civic Society on Tuesday 15th December 2020, with Andrew Lee, Director of Countryside Policy & Management, South Downs National Park, with an introduction by Michael Dower, former CEO of the Peak District National Park and of the Countryside Commission.


Some of the key points:

  • The South Downs National Park (SDNP) is, like Dorset, a lowland, working farmed landscape with several sizeable towns and many villages. The areas face similar issues and can share experiences.

  • The SDNP has a Local Plan developed in partnership with local councils and communities and draws on about 60 Neighbourhood Plans.

  • The delivery of day-to-day planning is mostly devolved to partner local authorities who are paid for their work by the SDNP from its central Government grant; the SDNP only deals with the more sensitive cases.

  • The SDNP takes very seriously its duty to foster the economic and social wellbeing of communities, supports the area’s 8,000 businesses, and helps farmers and land managers to access funds, develop business plans and diversify for a thriving future.

  • It works beyond its boundaries to engage with and support communities, promotes sustainable access and aims to do even more to reach out and encourage people to be closer to nature.