South Downs National Park has key role to play in local economy

Lewes in South Downs
Lewes in South Downs

The South Downs National Park can underpin a more sustainable and resilient local economy, says a report.

It can build jobs and communities based on its stunning landscapes and the qualities that led to it becoming England’s newest National Park.

It is home not only to important wildlife and cultural heritage but also to 110,000 people, with a further two million living nearby.

The new State of the South Downs National Park report reveals the potential for it to play a vital role in creating future sustainable prosperity in the south east.

The economy of the National Park is estimated to be worth around £2.23 billion annually. Including farming and forestry, there are already up to 500 business units operating within it, employing up to 84,000 people.

Margaret Paren, Chair of the South Downs National Park Authority, said: “The National Park is a precious breathing space in this most crowded part of the country and provides vital services – such as clean water filtered through the chalk grassland, places where people can experience nature and improve their well-being, as well as food for millions of people. Looking after its natural assets is the best way to underpin a thriving local economy.

“This report shows how the National Park has the potential to provide huge opportunities for communities, businesses, volunteers and visitors.”

See the report at