Celebration is planned for South Downs

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A PARTY is being planned in Petersfield to celebrate the launch of the South Downs National Park Authority.

Plans are afoot to create a colossal map of the park – about half the size of The Square in the town centre.

The giant map will be put on the ground for people to walk over.

Schools are being contacted to provide artwork and poetry as part of the celebrations.

Stalls manned by groups related to the park, such as wildlife organisations, will be set up in The Square and dignitaries from the new authority are being invited to attend.

The party, organised by heritage group Petersfield Tomorrow, will take place as the National Park Authority comes into full operation on April 1.

Petersfield councillor Bob Ayer said: ‘It will mark the first day of the South Downs National Park.

‘Petersfield Tomorrow is well placed to headline the event.

‘It is too early to say what we as a town council can do to support this event, but there is an expectation that we will support it.

‘The most immediate challenge is to put a road-block on three sides of The Square.’

One idea is for St Peter’s Church to ring its bells, triggering off a chain reaction as church bells across the South Downs ring out.