Council’s Vision To Conserve Iconic Eastbourne Downland

Cabinet councillors have agreed a draft vision for the protection and conservation of Eastbourne Downland over the next 25 years.

Eastbourne Borough Council is working closely with the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) on the development of a Whole Estate Plan which will set opportunities and challenges and the Council’s aspirations for the Downland. The vision for the Plan was developed following feedback from recent workshop events and knowledge and awareness of future environmental concerns.

Councillor Jonathan Dow, Cabinet member for Place Services, said: “Our downland is iconic and much-loved. This vision sets out our priorities for conserving this stunning landscape so that it can be enjoyed by everyone now and for generations to come.
“It covers the need for the Estate to be financially self-sustainable, that farmers are given support and also that habitats are well-managed so resilient to climate change.”

The Council’s Downland Estate consists of four tenanted working farms and a small holding extending to about 3,000 acres as well as 1,000 acres of Open Downland. 

Tim Slaney, Director of Planning at the South Downs National Park Authority, said: “We’re delighted to be working with another public body on a Whole Estate Plan. These Plans are incredibly valuable to both us and residents in outlining the assets, opportunities and potential challenges of sites.

“We look forward to working with Eastbourne Borough Council as this Plan for Eastbourne Downland progresses further.”

The estate sits within the South Downs National Park, which covers 1,600km2 of England’s most valued lowland landscape. The National Park was designated for the nation and is overseen by the SDNPA, which has the role of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area.