MP calls for co-operation about the Downs’ future

MP Nick Herbert has said the future of the South Downs depends on effective co-operative between authorities in the national park and its residents and workers.

Mr Herbert, the Conservative MP for Arundel and South Downs, was speaking at the launch of the South Downs National Park Authority’s new partnership management plan.

He said the authority needed the co-operation because it could not be expected to run an area of more than 1,600sq km, with 85 per cent farmed, by itself.

Recent rows elsewhere about the causes of flooding showed the importance of dialogue and co-operation between those with an interest in water management.

The plan sets out a vision for how the authority and its partners would like the national park to be in the future.

It has been developed through two years of public engagement and aims to stimulate local action and encourage public and private investment into the park.

Margaret Paten, the authority’s chairman, said: “The plan demonstrates how people and organisations are working together to care for and protect these very special landscapes.”

Mr Herbert said it was important to maintain the national park’s rural economy and the services provided by its natural environment and protect its special landscape.