Countryside date to mark new status

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THE BEACHY Head Countryside Centre is getting ready to host a celebratory weekend this April to showcase to residents and visitors the new South Downs National Park on Eastbourne’s doorstep.

The Beachy Head Countryside Centre is staging a free weekend (April 2-3) spectacular packed with opportunities to take guided trips around nearby East Dean and Birling Gap, enjoy Morris Dancing against a stunning South Downs backdrop, and sample local ales in a mini beer festival.

From April 1, the South Downs National Park Authority will take over as the sole planning and access authority marking a year since the South Downs was named as the country’s newest National Park.

Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism, Councillor Neil Stanley said, “The Beachy Head Weekend sounds like a fantastic opportunity for those living nearby as well as visitors to come together and celebrate the wonderful South Downs National Park, which is literally on our doorstep.

“From the dramatic white chalk cliffs of Beachy Head, an iconic image of Eastbourne, to the rolling countryside perfect for family walks, the South Downs National Park is an asset for all to enjoy.

“I’d like to thank the Beachy Head Countryside Centre for organising what promises to be a great weekend.”

There will be a host of activities taking place - from the chance for children to master the technique of old-fashioned arts and crafts, to trips on the Cuckmere Community Bus, and from finding out about countryside wildlife with East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service to enjoying the Seaford Hand Bell Ringers.

Organisers are also calling for fans of the South Downs countryside to get out and about now to capture photographs of the local countryside for a photographic competition to be judged during the weekend. Judges will whittle entries down to a top 20 to be displayed at the Countryside Centre over the weekend.