• The National Park brings opportunities for additional projects which further the Park's Purposes and socio-economic Duty.  South Downs Land Managers seeks to ensure that these projects and funding opportunities are accessible and relevant to our members, without which they will not be effective for the Park. Here are some examples:

      Heathlands Reunited

      The Heathlands Reunited project, led by the South Downs National Park Authority and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, aims to expand, create new and improve existing heathland.

      The heathlands are home to all twelve of our native reptiles and amphibians, but cover just one per cent of the South Downs National Park, mostly separated into ‘islands’ where isolated plants and animals are far more vulnerable to local extinction.

      The project aims to inspire communities to visit their heathlands, learn more about them and work together to look after them so they can be enjoyed for generations to come.

      The project will run across 5 years, working with 11 partners on 41 heathland sites. 

      For more information contact bruce.middleton@southdowns.gov.uk

      Whole Estate Plans

      As part of the Local Plan process the SDNPA are developing guidance on the preparation of Whole Estate Plans.  If you are looking to undertake any significant planning development then it is likely that an Estate plan will be required.  The latest version of the draft guidance is available to download here.  If you are interested in preparing a WEP and wish to arrange a meeting contact jody.slater@southdowns.gov.uk.

      Also available to download is an information sheet to assist in the process of requesting mapped physical data available on your land holding, as part of collating information about your assets.  Wiston Estate has become the first Estate to have their Plan endorsed by the South Downs National Park Authority. Read Plan here 

      Cluster Groups

      Farmers and Landowners in four parts of the National Park are coming together to for 'Cluster Groups'.  This enables them to access funding under Countryside Stewardship for a facilitator to help them deliver conservation objectives on a 'landscape scale'. It helps provide a co-ordinated approach working across boundaries to benefit the soils, water, wildlife and historic features. Farmers also benefit by sharing knowledge and expertise. 

      The five cluster areas are:

      Eastern Downs   Anthony Weston 

      Arun 2 Adur which was the first group to be set up originally bringing together 24 farmers who farm and look after some 8299 hectares of the South Downs. Contact Colin Headley

      Winchester Downs (far western end of the Downs) Contact Rob Nicholls

      South Downs (River Meon and Ems catchments)  Contact Colin Headley  

      Selborne Landscape Partnership Contact Debbie Miller 

      South Downs Food and Drink Portal

      Developed by Natural Partnerships CIC and funded by the National Park Authority and Southern Co-op, the South Downs Food and Drink Portal promotes food and drink produced within the South Downs (including a 10 mile radius), The food finder allows you to search for producers, retailers and local hospitality businesses that sell or serve local produce.  It also lists a variety of local food events through out the year, from Farmers Markets to cookery courses.  Local producers are encouraged to sign up to promote their goods and get involved in networking and cluster group events held through out the South Downs. To find out more contact trade@southdownsfood.org

      South Downs Farmland Bird Initiative (SDFBI)

      Ground-nesting birds of the South Downs such as corn bunting, grey partridge, lapwing, stone curlew and skylark are special to the habitats that we create and manage.  They are an iconic illustration of why farming, including arable as well as pasture, is vital to nature in our landscape. 

      We have opportunities both to conserve these birds which are declining in other parts of the country, and also to publicise the important environmental contribution farmers make in the South Downs.  In order to make the best of these opportunities, South Downs Land Managers has joined the steering group of the South Downs Farmland Bird Initiative, as a supporting partner organisation.

      The SDFBI will bring together information and advice from all the member organisations.  This will be made available from time to time through our members newsletter, on the website www.sdfarmbirds.com and in the SDFBI newsletter 'The Farm Flyer' (click here to read)

      In order to show the benefits of the type of land management we do in the South Downs, the Farmland Bird Initiative will regularly survey a set of randomly selected kilometre squares across the Park.  Where possible they will simply use public footpaths but where this is not possible they will seek permission to survey within farmland and would be grateful if this can be given.  

      South Downs Barn Owl Box Project

      SDNPA rangers and the Volunteer Ranger Service (VRS) are working closely with local farmers to install nesting boxes and to retain rough tussock grassland around field edges and unused field corners. This long grass provides the right habitat for the barn owls’ favorite diet of small mammals, Field Vole, Mice, and Shrews. Rangers have so far installed 250 Barn Owl boxes working with 95 Farmers and Landowners. For more information click the link in the title above. There is a dedicated ranger in each of the area offices able to assist any farmer wanting to help the conservation of Barn Owls.  If you are interested in having a Barn Owl box installed on your farm contact barnowl@southdowns.gov.uk


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    • If you would like to join SDLM, then send us an email with your contact details including name and telephone number.