The head of the Government’s review into National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) Julian Glover visited the South Downs National Park on 26 and 27 July as part of a fact-finding tour gathering evidence for the review.

Over the course of his visit Julian Glover spoke with many different people directly involved with the South Downs National Park representing businesses, communities, farmers, schools, environmental groups, health walk leaders, land owners, developers, National Park Authority officers and National Park rangers.

Julian Glover, said: “It was a huge pleasure to walk along the South Downs in bright sunshine, explore some of the beautiful woodland, and meet National Park rangers, farmers, walkers, local councillors and business people. Our new National Park faces some big challenges but it’s making a difference. I hope the review I’m leading will help it do even more to protect the landscape while helping local people get the homes, jobs and opportunities they need.”

Margaret Paren, chair of the South Downs National Park Authority, said: “This is a welcome opportunity to introduce the review team to just some of the experiences of the people who visit, live and work in the National Park – whose stories are as diverse as the South Downs’ landscapes themselves.”

“In his announcement of the Government’s review the Secretary of State stressed that the review should make sure that National Parks and AONBs are not only conserved, but also enhanced for the next generation. In this very short visit Julian Glover has had a taste of the variety of work done towards achieving that aim here in the South Downs National Park and we hope to welcome other members of his panel in future.”

Julian Glover is associate editor at the London Evening Standard and author of the biography Man of Iron: Thomas Telford and the Building of Britain. He has worked as leader writer and columnist at the Guardian and as a Special Adviser in Number 10 and the Department for Transport. He will be supported by an advisory panel bringing a vast breadth of experience in landscape, biodiversity, heritage, farming and rural issues.

Find out more about the review