Massive boost to National Park conservation

Black smoke billows into the air   Picture: Jeff Coates

Fire crews battle blaze in heart of Waterlooville

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A £3m plan to safeguard endangered chalk downland in the South Downs National Park has been given a major boost by the government.

The Secretary of State for the Environment has awarded £608,000 to the Way Ahead project – set up to protect the chalk downland.

Margaret Paren is chairwoman of the South Downs National Park Authority.

She said: ‘South Downs chalk downland is vital to the survival of rare and endangered wildlife and is relied on by millions of people to provide clean drinking water and valuable green space.

‘We are working in partnership with 26 organisations across South Downs National Park to safeguard this precious landscape and encourage people to help secure these benefits for now and future generations.

‘The announcement comes just one month before the National Park celebrates its first anniversary and shows what can be achieved when people from across the South Downs join forces.’

For details go to southdowns.gov.uk.