South Downs National Park’s achievements

Water voles have been reintroduced

Water voles have been reintroduced

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The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) has released its 2013-2014 annual report, detailing its achievements and new partnership projects.

Re-introducing water voles, better woodland management and promoting sustainable travel were all successful partnership projects over the last year.

“We’re proud to work in partnership with a wide range of organisations, landowners, farmers, local businesses, residents and visitors – all committed to caring for the South Downs National Park,” said Margaret Paren, chair of the SDNPA.

“Our first partnership management plan for the national park, launched this January, set out a long-term vision and how it will be delivered over the next five years through more than 100 separate projects.”

The South Downs has more woodland than any other National Park in England or Wales, meaning wood management is important for the wildlife and local forestry community.

The SDNPA have now increased the amount of South Downs woodland actively managed by 14 per cent.

The campaign to promote sustainable transport has reached 5.5 million people, with an extra 8.5km of cycle paths and increased Sunday bus service up to the Downs being implemented.

Other work included resurfacing 1575m of the South Downs Way, replacing signposts and gates.

The SDNPA are now working with 48 per cent of schools within the national park, and 31 per cent within a 5km boundary, hoping to pass on a passion for the future.

Working with Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) community group Sompriti, the NPA have also organised special sessions to introduce BME community leaders to the National Park.

Meanwhile the South Downs Volunteer Ranger Service increased by 700 working days from the previous year.