As a National Park, the South Downs is recognised as an area of outstanding natural beauty, home to a multitude of communities steeped in history and culture. Whilst we encourage as many people as possible to come and visit to enjoy the South Downs Way, it is important that everyone respects and protects the area for current and future generations. This idea is known as responsible tourism, and there are lots of things you can do to help!

Responsible tourism, also known as sustainable tourism, includes looking after the natural environment as well as local people and the local economy.

Support Local Businesses

Whilst in the South Downs by buying locally produced food, drink and craft products you can help to support local businesses and communities.

Look After The Environment

There are some simple ideas that everyone can do whilst out and about which will help to protect the environment:

  • Take your litter home with you so you don’t spoil the landscape.
  • Whilst walking or cycling, stick to the marked footpaths and bridleways which will help to reduce erosion.
  • Leave gates and property as you find them.
  • Take care not to destroy, damage or remove features such as plants, trees or rocks as these provide food and homes for wildlife.
  • Farm animals and wild animals can behave unpredictably so don’t get too close, especially if they are with their young.
  • Take care not to drop a smouldering cigarette or match at any time of year. Fires can have a devastating affect on wildlife and habitats.
  • Keep dogs under close control and please always clear up after them.
  • Consider other people when you are out enjoying the beautiful South Downs countryside. When driving a vehicle or riding a bike, please slow down for horses, livestock and walkers and give them plenty of space. By law, cyclists must give way to horse-riders and walkers on bridleways.