The South Downs National Park runs for 100 miles between Eastbourne in East Sussex to Winchester in East Hampshire. It is Britain’s most populated National Park and most visited, it’s also the youngest having only been designated in 2011.
The South Downs is known in the main for the 100-mile chalk ridge that crosses three counties and can be walked, cycled or travelled on horseback throughout. The National Park is more than that, however. It holds a great diversity of habitats, some of them internationally rare, such as dry lowland heath, chalk grassland and rivers such as the Meon and Itchen.
Ancient trees and woods abound in the South Downs, with over 10.5% of the National Park actually being ancient woodland, an amazing statistic! This is thanks largely to the stretches of the Low Weald which are part of the Park, with woods such as Ebernoe Common and The Mens two of the most special.
The National Park is special not just for its terrestrial life, the South Downs are a Dark Sky Reserve, with some of the best views of the night sky to be found in the whole of the UK. This is an area I am experimenting with in photographing ancient and veteran trees.
I have been photographing the South Downs since spring 2018 and I am really looking forward to discovering more of it and documenting it through photography and writing. Above is a selection of my favourite images so far.