The South Downs National Park is England's newest National Park, having become fully operational on 1 April 2011.
The national park covers not only the chalk ridge of the South Downs, that culminates in the iconic chalky white cliffs of Beachy Head formed in the Late Cretaceous epoch, between 100 million and 65 million years ago, when the area was under the sea, but also a substantial part of a separate physiographic region, and the western Weald, with its heavily wooded sandstone and clay hills and vales, taking in the valley of the western River Rother, and the densely wooded hills and valleys of the Greensand Ridge and Weald Clay south of Haslemere.
Things to do
The South Downs Way is one of 15 National Trails in England and Wales, stretching from the ancient cathedral city of Winchester in the west, through to the white chalky cliffs of the Seven Sisters.
For the more adventurous, there is paragliding, hang-gliding, golf, zorbing, mountain-boarding and a range of water sports.
There are also a number of beautiful country parks and other managed recreational sites to explore and enjoy including the Queen Elizabeth Country Park near Waterlooville and Stanmer Park near Brighton. These offer a safe, well-run environment for people to discover the countryside and appreciate the natural world.