Friday 7 October 2011

Engaging with the National Park

The National Park has been functional for about 6 months now and one of its biggest jobs has been to encourage engagement with people throughout the Park.

My view is that they are doing a pretty good job, indeed so good that people are starting to complain about consultation fatigue! To those of us that are in the loop maybe this is what it feels like but there are a lot of people with a lot of different interests in the Park and not all of them will have found the opportunity to input. So I feel that all the effort has been worth while.

The opportunities being provided by the Park Authority at the moment is through a series of 9 autumn workshops: 3 in East Sussex, 3 in West Sussex and 3 in Hampshire. As I understand it, these are to give people the opportunity to give views on the special qualities of the South Downs and the chance for this to feed in to the development of a Park-wide Management Plan.

This is all good stuff but people do need to engage in order to have their say. Four of these workshops have already taken place and I know the Authority would like still more people to get involved. So it’s a good opportunity for members of the Wildlife Trust, and readers of this blog, to get along and help promote the case for wildlife.

The dates and locations are as follows:

  • 10th October 2011 – Arundel Town Hall, Arundel

  • 11th October 2011 – International Lawn Tennis Centre, Eastbourne

  • 3rd November 2011 – Manor House, Littlehampton

  • 4th November 2011 – Linklater Pavilion, Lewes (may change depending on numbers)

  • 7th November 2011 – St John’s Church Hall, Rowlands Castle
You can find out more about these on the National Park web site on

I’ll be going along to the West Sussex meetings and will be promoting our theme of a wildlife-rich Living Landscape for the Park. Why not come and help?

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