Midhurst celebrates opening of South Downs National Park

Town crier Marcus Ronchetti launches South Downs National Park C110537-2
Town crier Marcus Ronchetti launches South Downs National Park C110537-2

The South Downs National Park is up and running on all cylinders, following a formal opening on Friday, April 1.

The main celebrations for the country’s 15th and newest park were at Petersfield and Lewes, but in Midhurst the occasion did not go unnoticed.

Bottles of champagne, given by town council members, and a celebratory cake, donated by Mark Hubbard of the Spinning Wheel bakery in North Street, were shared around the small gathering in Market Square as the church bells rang out.

Robin Crane, who led the South Downs Campaign for a park for 30 years, hailed ‘a really fantastic day’.

He thanked Midhurst Town Council for supporting the campaign, one of 160 national, regional and local organisations to do so, and added: “It has been a long haul.

“We had overwhelming public support even though notable MPs and councils were opposed to us.

“At long last we have a single, permanent authority which will be able to plan long-term and provide strong leadership.”