On 12th November 2009 Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs signed an order confirming the designation of the South Downs National Park.
What Does it Mean?
The South Downs has been recognised as having a special status for many years. Designation as a National Park confirms that status and ensures that it will continue to be available for future generations to enjoy. This is the first National Park to be created in England since the New Forest in 2005.
What Does Designation Mean?
Designation as a National Park is a formal recognition of the South Downs' special qualities in terms of natural beauty and opportunities for open-air recreation. It means that:
The area has the highest level of protection under the planning system
There is a fixed boundary for the area to be protected
Public bodies and others are required to have regard to National Park purposes when operating in the area ( the so-called “Section 62 duty”)
It permits a National Park Authority to be established (under the Environment Act 1995) to carry out functions associated with the Park.
You can download the South Downs National Park Boundary Map below: