National Park will protect wildlife

WITH the South Downs National Park Authority (NPA) becoming fully operational on April 1, the RSPB welcomes the opportunities this brings to protect and enhance this special area for people and wildlife.

This iconic landscape, formed from open downland, ancient woodland, heathland and river valleys, supports a great variety of trees, plants, birds and other wildlife and is enjoyed by thousands of people.

The RSPB has a long association with the South Downs. Its Pulborough Brooks Nature Reserve in the Arun Valley sits on the doorstep and offers a gateway to the new National Park.

Steve Gilbert, RSPB conservation programme manager, said: “The creation of the South Downs National Park is an exciting opportunity to care for and improve this landscape, for the benefit of local people and visitors alike, saving forever its natural beauty, inspiring views and unique wildlife.”

The RSPB will be a key partner in ensuring the creation of the National Park adds value and becomes a leading example of how to enrich wildlife and the lives of people by connecting them to nature.

Pulborough Brooks already provides this opportunity for thousands of visitors every year through organised events, family activities, education work and volunteering.

As part of the wider South Downs National Park it is hoped even more can be achieved.

Partnership working in the South Downs is just one of the ways the RSPB is ‘Stepping up for Nature’. The charity’s new campaign has been launched in response to the failure to reach targets to halt the loss of biodiversity. It encourages everyone to take steps to help create a world where wildlife can flourishes alongside people.

Steve added: “By joining together with local organisations, business and people in the new National Park we can all do our bit to step up for nature and tackle conservation issues locally.”