About the National Park

Special Places

Burton Mill Pond
Burton Mill Pond

People find places that have special personal meaning to them. Each and every person has different values. The reasons people find a place special will be unique to that person.

Capturing the essence of what makes the National Park important now can be done by identifying its special qualities. This is a crucial starting point for managing change in the future. Every national park has a list of the things that make it special, this helps to see what happens over time and how well the Park Authority is doing in promoting, protecting and enhancing the special qualities of the park.

We wanted to find out what are the special qualities of the South Downs. So we asked residents and visitors, landowners and farmers, businesses, school pupils, and parish councils to put forward their ideas. The seven special qualities of the South Downs were chosen by the people of the park, they are all connected and support each other. Landscape is very important to all of the other special qualities; together they create a sense of place. The aim is to improve and protect all seven special qualities together.

The seven special qualities of the South Downs National Park are:

  1. Diverse, inspirational landscapes and breathtaking views;
  2. A rich variety of wildlife and habitats including rare and internationally important species;
  3. Tranquil and unspoilt places;
  4. An environment shaped by centuries of farming and embracing new enterprise;
  5. Great opportunities for recreational activities and learning experiences;
  6. Well-conserved historical features and a rich cultural heritage;
  7. Distinctive towns and villages, and communities with real pride in their area.

To conserve the special qualities of the South Downs National Park for the future we need you to take action to care for and protect it.

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