Campaigning & Conservation


Our vital campaigning work is to respond and influence the outcome of planning applications and  environmental issues, contributing to local neighbourhood plans and commenting on the emerging plans for the whole of the South Downs National Park.

We focus on the potential impact on the National Park and base our comments not merely on a subjective response but on the confirmed planning policy at local and national level. While most of our responses relate to proposals inside the National Park, we also consider developments outside the park if we feel they might impact significantly on the park.

We also work in partnership alongside the South Downs Trust to help support their activities, to see more land managed for wildlife, more rare habitats protected, more local communities thriving and more people able to access and enjoy the landscape.

We are an active partner in SCATE (South Coast Alliance on Transport and the Environment), a partnership of environmental organisations and residents’ associations seeking more environmentally sustainable solutions to transport issues. As well as SCATE, we work with a range of environmental organisations through other partnerships.

Most of our campaigning work is undertaken by our planning volunteers, known as District Officers who form the Society’s Planning & Conservation Committee.


We offer volunteering opportunities to all our members, who support a huge array of projects to help improve access and preserve the landscape of the South Downs for the enjoyment of everyone, for future generations. Our Area Access Officers help us ensure that our footpaths and bridleways remain open and accessible across whole of the National Park.

Some of our current projects include:

    Replacement stiles with kissing gates. Many older walkers are now unable to climb stiles, many of which are in poor condition.
    Seats and benches placed along the route of the South Downs Way. The society is providing funding for benches placed every few miles in unobtrusive locations and made of locally sourced wood.
    Improvements to the surface of the South Downs Way. The society provided funding to refurbish a 1km badly worn part of the South Downs Way near Plumpton.See our Projects & Impact page for more details.

If you would like to help us, we currently have some vacancies for District Officers and Area Access Officers, in a number of areas.

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