The Fight for The South Downs


The Long Struggle to protect one of Britain's most treasured landscapes

Those who have a deep affection for Britain's countryside will be totally absorbed by this extraordinary history of environmentalists' efforts to conserve the glorious South Downs. After describing the special qualities of the area and earlier  attempts to safeguard it, the story of a twenty year campaign to secure National Park status for this special part of England is recounted. Strong forces opposed, but the South Downs Campaign, which eventually grow to represent 159 national and local groups, won through and the national park was established in 2010.

Author Robin Crane chaired the meeting of seven people who founded the South Downs Campaign in 1990. He remained chairman until the South Downs National Park was finally designated. From the outset the campagin was run by a team of both volunteers and professionals. The Campaign for National Parks, The Ramblers Association, Sussex Wildlife Trust and Sussex and Hampshire CPREs were the lead organisations. Margaret Paren, who took a prominent role in the last half of the Campaign has edited this book. She chaired the South Downs National Park Authority for its first ten years.