Eastbourne Downs - Have your say

22 January 2019 | Posted in Conservation , land-disposals
Eastbourne Downs - Have your say
cowslip © Nigel Symington

By Phil Belden

Conservation Advisor 

You may remember the successful campaign to save the Eastbourne Downs from being sold off by the council, thus protecting our precious public land for the future.  

Eastbourne Borough Council has organised a drop-in session to hear your views on Tuesday 29 January, from 12 noon – 8pm, at Eastbourne Town Hall.  It’s vital that we ensure these 4,000 acres are better conserved and enhanced, for us and for our wildlife.  So please call in and let them know your feelings, with ideas and aspirations for our treasured Eastbourne downland.  

Points to consider from Sussex Wildlife Trust, it’s predominantly farmed land, so it would be good to see:

  •  more environmentally sensitive farming, food production in harmony with wildlife conservation,
  • more arable fields rich in farmland birds and minimal chemicals to ensure clean drinking water (which comes from the chalk under the farmland),
  • more permanent pasture to restore our internationally rare chalk grassland,
  • protection of the rich cultural heritage and carbon storage to help offset damaging climate change and a host of other benefits that could result in a more enlightened caring for our Downs. 
  • Public accessibility should be improved too, with a better network of definitive (legal) paths to provide easier, safer routes for all abilities.   

Please pop along at your convenience with your thoughts and suggestions. Together we can help shape a great downland landscape for us and our wildlife. See you there I hope.


  • 05 Feb 2019 09:52:00

    Well, that was that; the great day has been and gone. I hope you made it and gave your views on our treasured downland.

    Next steps? A bit of a mystery, but we may get to see a draft “vision” (concocted by a group of borough councillors), hopefully to comment on fairly soon; then a full draft plan for the public Eastbourne Downs Estate “in a few months’ time”.

    Keep a weather eye on the local scene, communications out of Eastbourne Borough Council aren’t good, but conservation and other networks, plus media are vigilant and do try to inform people when they discover some news. Down to you too – please add any news, views, gossip here on this site, to keep us all in the picture.


  • Phil Belden:

    30 Oct 2019 09:56:00

    Wednesday 6th November 2019, Town Hall, Eastbourne – drop in anytime between 12noon & 8pm.
    One more chance to share your ideas / views / concerns over our great public Eastbourne Downs Estate.
    January was the initial consultation, now we should have the detail. Please pop in & cast your critical eye & ear over what’s on show, what they have to say. Need to ensure / demand:
    * That our damaged downland is fully restored, recovering our rare chalk grassland with its wonderful wildlife;
    * More sensitive, chemical-free agriculture, to protect our chalk aquifer drinking water;
    * That our urban fringe woodland is managed to create a diverse mixed woodland, to enhance nature & capture CO2
    * More quality public access & accessibility across the Downs, not just confined to the coastal strip;
    * An improved visitor experience, extolling the wonders of what should be the jewel in Eastbourne’s crown, gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    PLEASE, chisel the date in the diary & be there – your views count. Thank you.

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