From chalky cliffs to endless green fields, it’s a popular route which attracts walkers, hikers, horse riders and bikers; not to mention families having a picnic or couples enjoying a short stroll.
This week is National Parks Week, a seven-day celebration of Britain’s wildlife. It sees events organised across Britain’s 15 National Parks and encourages all Brits to head out and explore open areas right on their doorstep. There will also be a photography competition (on the theme ‘Space to Grow’) and overnight stays to show off the Parks’ dark skies.
So for those planning a visit to one of Britain’s National Parks for the big week ahead, here are some of the goings on you can look forward to.
‘Take pART’ is an arts and crafts scheme aimed at allowing children to get creative, learn a new skill and make something tangible, especially if this can be done with natural materials. This year’s National Parks Week will coincide with two Take pART workshops: pottery and felt pictures.
Both workshops will take place at the National Park visitor centre, with pottery on the cards on July 29 and felt the following day. The cost for each will be £5 per child. Adults or families looking for more physical activities, meanwhile, may be tempted by the Walk, Talk and Tea stroll around Mynydd Illtud. The family-friendly four-mile stroll will take in industrial sites, spiritual centre and Iron Age hillfort (depending on time). Space on the walk cost £4 but this includes a cream tea.
On 12 November 2009, the South Downs were confirmed as a National Park by Hilary Benn, the then Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It took some years to decide on the boundary of the park and several revisions were made.
The first designation was in 2000 and the final report was submitted in 2008 after several disputes over which towns should be included in the National Park. The park stretches from the eastern edge of Winchester in the west, up to Binsted in the north and in a south-easterly direction Beachy Head near Eastbourne is the boundary.
Now a new dispute over which town is at the very centre of the park has begun.