Black Down

Heathland in bloom on Black Down with grazing belted galloway cows

Important notice -

Our countryside space is open. We encourage everyone to observe social distancing measures.

The highest point in the South Downs National Park

A view over the sloping purple heather at Black Down towards the distant horizon, with tall pine trees to either side.

Heathlands Reunited sculpture trail 

Probably the most famous admirer of the common and nearby former resident was poet Alfred Lord Tennyson.This sculpture is inspired by some of his words and ancient documents granting rights of pasture to the common land. The documents are beautifully hand written with incredible flowing fonts. So this sculpture incorporates a quote, long associated with the site written by Tennyson, using a font taken directly from the documents relating to the rights of the common land. The sculpture references the beautiful landscape and view from the site but also nod to its industrious past.

Visitors dog-walking at Ickworth, Suffolk

Taking the lead on the South Downs 

The South Downs are a great place to walk your dog, so there's always somewhere near to you where you can enjoy this rich countryside throughout the year.

Dog on a lead at Plas Newydd, Anglesey.

We need help from our dog walking visitors! 

The Heathlands Reunited Project is promoting a ‘Take the Lead’ campaign to encourage responsible dog walking on heathlands and other habitats. We are really keen to hear from as many dog walkers as possible, so please help us by taking the survey and sharing the link with your dog walking friends

Black Down

History

A selection of worked flints found at Black Down, including arrowheads and axes, laid out in a display

Ancient finds 

Prehistoric flints, ancient tracks across the land and so much more – our research reveals treasures in this fantastic landscape.

Black Down

Wildlife

There's more to bats than meets the eye

Reconnecting Wild Sussex – Bats in the Landscape

The dense woods, patchwork of fields and scattered parkland trees of the West Sussex Downs are a stronghold for some of Britain’s rarest bats, and we're working on improving our habitats for these flying mammals.

A view over the sloping purple heather at Black Down towards the distant horizon, with tall pine trees to either side.

Saving our heathlands in the South Downs 

The Heathlands Reunited project aims to create and improve heathland at 41 sites covering an area greater than 1,200 football pitches. Find out more about this exciting partnership project.

Black Down

Our work

Heathland in bloom on Black Down with grazing belted galloway cows

Ranger diaries: behind the scenes during lockdown in the South Downs

The UK may be in lockdown, but work has to go on to care for our animals in the South Downs. See the cattle and newborn lambs on our Lead Ranger's daily rounds on the Black Down estate and find out about the essential work that goes on behind the scenes.

 Panoramic view at sunset in August from Devil's Dyke, South Downs, West Sussex

South Downs sites we look after  

Discover the incredible diversity of countryside sites across the South Downs, from chalk grassland to river valleys, beech hangars and chalk cliffs.