Old Winchester Hill

South Downs National Park

The South Downs National Park is England’s newest National Park established in 2010.

The South Downs National Park is the UK’s newest National Park, designated in 2010. It is the most populous National Park and by far the most popular, with an estimated 39 million visitors each year. It contains a number of internationally important habitats including chalk grassland and several areas of lowland heath such as Woolmer Forest, the only place in the country to have all the UK’s native amphibian and reptile species.

Did you know? The South Downs Way is the only National Trail to lie wholly within a National Park.

Designated: 31/03/2010

Habitats: Estuaries, beaches and seashore, coastal cliffs, grassland, heathland, farmland, ancient woodland

Common wildlife: Roe deer, nightingale

Star spots: Badgers, barbastelle bat

Notable towns and cultural sights: Cissbury Ring hillfort, Winchester

Notable nature sights: Chalk streams, Kingley Vale

Popular activities for visitors: Hiking, stargazing

Highest peak: Blackdown 280 meters above sea level

Annual visitor numbers: 39 million in 2019

Threats: Overtourism