Benefits – Natural
‘English Social History’ (G M Trevelyan ) tells us of the relentless reorganisation of human behaviour. Smallholders who traditionally strip farmed for their own needs whilst paying tithe to the land owner, were subject to the Inclosure Act (Consolidation 1801), their small plots swallowed by an increasing drive for industrialisation.
Since this period land usage has changed according to the require- ments of the time. Increase in hobby farming or private stables resulting in sub-division of fields with additional fencing, tracks, hard standing, jumps and other horse related activities.
Development is an ever changing cycle which must have regard for the fabric of the downs.
The Natural Area concept
The development of the Natural Area concept is a key part of English Nature’s drive to conserve nature in England, believing as they do that Natural Areas provide an improved framework for securing public support for wildlife and geological conservation, and greatly improve our ability to work with others to deliver effective action.
English Nature also point out that many of the habitats of nature conservation value within the South Downs Natural Area have become highly fragmented in recent decades, in particular chalk grassland, chalk heath and unimproved grazing marsh, all of which mostly occur as isolated patches within a hostile matrix of agricultural or unmanaged land.
How the South Down Project will create a natural legacy
The South Down Project will work with leading naturalists, environ- mentalists and all relevant stakeholders, to turn the deserted chalk pit into a vibrant and exciting example of conservation and regeneration, with multiple areas of wildlife and nature integrated into the new development.
The vision of the Management Team is that the site can blossom again as an extension to the existing Downs profile, with the use of indigenous species supporting a rich biodiversity.
A considered development will incorporate all the necessary elements to make this section of the Downs whole again, recreating it as a legacy for generations to come.