Local people making their corner of rural Britain unique
Saturday 16th February
Helen Mark is in the Western Weald, on the border of the South Downs, to find out the case for its inclusion in the South Downs National Park.
A battle is being fought in South East England. The Western Weald, already designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is fighting for inclusion in the South Downs National Park. Last July it was considered too geologically distinct from the rolling chalk hills of the Downs, and was removed from the park plans.
There has been an outcry locally, and Helen Mark meets people who have been involved in the Western Weald campaign, to find out what the case for inclusion is. On the way, she discovers the natural treasures of this quiet part of old England, described by the campaigners as one of the most unspoilt tracts of land in the South of England. She visits the Buddhist Monastery at Chithurst, where the monks are returning woodland to its natural state; the grounds of the Norman church at Milland in the company of historian and geologist Peter Brandon; and is guided around Ebernoe common, a paradise for bird-watchers, by wildlife photographer David Plummer.
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