Protecting our precious downland for future generations

Residents of Brighton and Hove are being asked to help put the finishing touches to a City Downland Estate Plan that will set out the future vision and policy framework of how the council will manage its Downland Estate for the next 100 years.

A draft plan has been created following a huge citywide consultation last year which attracted more than 3,000 ideas and comments.  

Take part in the survey

Now residents are being invited to view the draft plan and take part in a survey to help complete the process.

The council’s City Downland Estate consists of around 12,500 acres and is mostly situated within the South Downs National Park. The estate was initially acquired by the council around 100 years ago, with the aim of protecting the town’s water supply and controlling development.

In 2006, the council created the City Downland Estate Policy, which aimed to reconnect the people of Brighton & Hove to a more biodiverse downland with better education, improved access, and sustainable agriculture.

Restoring biodiversity and supporting wildlife

The policy has delivered improvements to the estate, including a significant increase in public access and the new Plan will build on this good foundation through the proposed vision of:  

“A rejuvenated City Downland Estate [that] will be carbon negative and climate resilient, its biodiverse grassland landscape fully restored and teeming with wildlife. The estate will be a leader in sustainable farming, where local food production will flourish…”  

Two key objectives of the draft plan are to reverse the loss of biodiversity on the estate, and, to work towards (and beyond) carbon net zero.  The draft plan identifies short, medium and long-term action to support the achievement of these objectives.

Completing the plan

Councillor Siriol Hugh-Jones, chair of the Asset Management Board, said: “I am delighted to see the new City Downland Plan taking shape. This is an enormous piece of work which will potentially have a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of current and future residents of Brighton & Hove. 

“I am extremely grateful to all those who have fed into the process so far, and who continue to do so, and I’d encourage residents to take part in the survey, help us to complete the plan so that we can protect and enhance our precious downland for future generations.”

Read about the City Downland Estate Plan and complete the survey

The survey will run for 8 weeks, until 8 July.

For a paper copy of the survey, or to receive the survey in another format and/or language, email:

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