South Downs National Park

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Presentation to Cocking Parish Council.
19th May 2011 by Bruce Middleton, Central West Area Manager, South Downs National Park Authority

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South Downs National Park

  1. 1. South Downs National Park Presentation to Cocking Parish Council May 2011 Bruce Middleton – Central West Area Manager
  2. 2. Designation of a National Park <ul><li>Formal and national recognition of an area’s special qualities of natural beauty and opportunities for outdoor recreation. </li></ul><ul><li>Fixed boundary </li></ul><ul><li>A National Park Authority </li></ul><ul><li>Highest level of planning protection </li></ul><ul><li>Public bodies must have regard to the National Park purposes. </li></ul>
  3. 3. National Park Costers Brook, Cocking Cocking Playground , Purposes: <ul><ul><li>Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the park’s special qualities by the public </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Authority Duty: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To seek to foster the economic and social well-being of the communities within the National Park. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 5. South Downs National Park – facts and figures <ul><li>Length (Eastbourne - Winchester) </li></ul>100 miles <ul><li>Area </li></ul>1637 sq km <ul><li>Population in the Park </li></ul>108,000 <ul><li>Visitor Numbers </li></ul>39 million visitor days each year <ul><li>Area farmed/managed </li></ul>87% <ul><li>Woodland </li></ul>20%
  5. 6. Some of the challenges <ul><li>Protect and enhance the special wildlife, sites and landscapes that are loved and enjoyed by many </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage and promote recreation in balance with the landscape </li></ul><ul><li>Address the pressures and opportunities of 21st century south east England – e.g. climate change, renewable energy, affordable housing, traffic, visitors </li></ul><ul><li>Add value to our working landscape and to market towns, businesses and communities </li></ul><ul><li>Help bridge the gap and understanding between urban and rural. </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>Championing the Park – inspiring others </li></ul><ul><li>Bringing people together to deliver more </li></ul><ul><li>Influencing and setting policies and standards </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting and delivering flagship projects </li></ul><ul><li>Bringing in external funding </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraging and supporting volunteering </li></ul><ul><li>Tackling challenges facing the South Downs. </li></ul>The role of the Authority Bee Orchid
  7. 8. SDNP Members and Staff <ul><li>Chair Person </li></ul><ul><li>Members </li></ul><ul><li>Chief Executive </li></ul><ul><li>Senior Management </li></ul><ul><li>- Planning-Minerals-Enforcement-Link Officers </li></ul><ul><li>- Strategy-Communication-Sustainable Community Fund </li></ul><ul><li>- Operation Team-Rangers-Volunteers-South Downs Way </li></ul><ul><li>- Corporate Services-Member Services-Admin-HR </li></ul>Fly Orchid Peacock Butterfly
  8. 9. <ul><li>Single, most important document </li></ul><ul><li>A vision for the future </li></ul><ul><li>Overarching and strategic </li></ul><ul><li>Sets the frame for all NPA policy and activity – and for partners’ contributions to National Park Purposes. </li></ul>SDNP Management Plan
  9. 10. What should the Management Plan include? <ul><li>Key characteristics and special qualities </li></ul><ul><li>Issues and drivers (Forces for Change) </li></ul><ul><li>Vision and outcomes / Touchstones and outputs </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic activities / Actions </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery Milestones and Lead Agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Indicators </li></ul>Cocking Column South Downs Way, Cocking
  10. 11. Biodiversity of the South Downs Round-headed rampion Adonis blue The South Downs supports a huge diversity of wildlife and habitats, including many that are nationally rare and threatened. 87% of the Downs is farmed therefore land managers have a critical role in ensuring that biodiversity is protected and enhanced. Stone curlew Grass snake Dormice
  11. 12. Landscapes of the South Downs Round-headed rampion Adonis blue 'Landscape' is more than just what we look at, it is also about what landscapes provide for us in terms of food, timber, fertile soils, clean water, species diversity, as well as opportunities to enjoy recreation. The South Downs is a farmed landscape and has been historically, it has been man's use of the land that has created the landscapes that people enjoy today. Landscapes are dynamic and subject to change - for example there have been arable crops on the Downs since at least Roman times. The South Downs landscape will continue to change as a response to a variety of different influences and drivers. Stone curlew Grass snake
  12. 13. Key issues <ul><li>Policy and legislation </li></ul><ul><li>Protected species </li></ul><ul><li>Designated sites / landscapes </li></ul><ul><li>Other relevant legislation e.g. herbicide use, pest control </li></ul><ul><li>Biodiversity / landscape resource use and management </li></ul><ul><li>What valuable environmental and financial services does biodiversity provide to landowners? (e.g. pest control, pollination, shooting, fishing) </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable use of wildlife </li></ul><ul><li>Illegal wildlife resource use (e.g. poaching, illegal wildlife trade) </li></ul><ul><li>Multifunctional, changing landscapes – how can we deliver our priorities for biodiversity and landscape in the context of the economic climate? </li></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>Invasive non-native species and disease </li></ul><ul><li>Negative impacts on wildlife, habitats, crops, and/or livestock (e.g. mink) </li></ul><ul><li>Some significant disease issues linked to wildlife (e.g. badgers and bovine TB). </li></ul><ul><li>Access and biodiversity </li></ul><ul><li>Potential impacts of visitor access on biodiversity at some sites e.g. </li></ul><ul><li>Dogs disturbing wildlife and worrying livestock </li></ul><ul><li>Dog fouling causing nutrient enrichment (damaging some habitats) </li></ul><ul><li>Persecution of wildlife (e.g. poaching) </li></ul><ul><li>Damage to sensitive habitats / species e.g. trampling, fires </li></ul><ul><li>Other potential problems include visitors’ lack of understanding of ‘right to roam’, gates left open, vandalism. </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits from access include increased enjoyment and understanding. </li></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>Economic issues and biodiversity </li></ul><ul><li>What are the current (and future) economic drivers influencing land management (and therefore biodiversity and landscape) in the South Downs? e.g. global food crisis </li></ul><ul><li>What are the costs and benefits of carrying out land management for biodiversity and landscapes? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the potential conflicts between managing land for profit, and managing land for biodiversity benefit? How can we resolve these? </li></ul><ul><li>The current poor economic climate means cuts to environmental subsidies. What will this mean for land managers in the South Downs National Park? </li></ul><ul><li>Where are the economic opportunities for land managers which will also result in benefits for wildlife and habitats? </li></ul>
  15. 16. <ul><li>How can the SDNPA and stakeholders effectively work together on biodiversity and landscape issues? </li></ul><ul><li>Management Plan and policies (working together to identify issues, problems, solutions and opportunities) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Data and evidence (including research, audit and monitoring) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development of shared vision and objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delivery of core work and project work </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SDNPA can provide advice, support and funding (e.g. Sustainable Community Fund). </li></ul>
  16. 17. Contacts: [email_address] Central West Area Manager 01730 817945 South Downs National Park Authority, Midhurst Depot, Bepton Road, Midhurst, West Sussex, GU29 9QX www.southdowns.gov.uk

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