The South Downs Way

The already successful ‘Mend Our Way’ campaign to repair the whole of the South Downs Way is getting a big boost. Find out more here. 

The organisations

From rolling hills to bustling market towns and the world-famous Seven Sisters white cliffs, the South Downs National Park’s landscapes cover 1,600km2 of beautiful and breath-taking views, rare and diverse habitats and quintessentially English scenery.

Established by the South Downs National Park Authority, the South Downs National Park Trust takes a park-wide approach to protect this extraordinary place for future generations. The Trust aims to work in partnership with national and community based organisations, for the benefit of the National Park and the people who live, work and visit here.

WATCH: Mend the South Downs Way on BMCTV

Our aim

It’s simple – to ensure the South Downs Way is accessible for all, forever.

The South Downs Way is a stunning National Trail running entirely within the South Downs National Park. You can feel a million miles from the hustle and bustle of modern life, but be only a few minutes from civilization. Whether you’re walking, on a mountain bike or on horseback, you’ll discover rich chalk grassland, crystal clear rivers, beautiful woodland and a wealth of cultural heritage.

Urgent improvements

Waterlogged path at Old Winchester Hill. Photo: South Downs NPA

The thin soils of the South Downs Way can be quickly eroded and the exposed soft chalk is then easily cut by fast flowing water coming off the hills. This means the route requires constant repair and now more than ever, as thousands of people seek the physical, mental and benefits of getting close to nature.

Three areas of the South Downs Way in particular need attention right now:

  1. Millpond Bottom (Pen Hill, West Sussex)
  2. Plumpton Plain (East Sussex)
  3. Old Winchester Hill (Hampshire)


The appeal – you can help

Through the “Mend our Way” campaign, the South Downs National Park Authority and South Downs National Park Trust are launching a substantial fundraising appeal to secure the additional support needed to carry out a number of critical repairs.

While we receive some funding to carry out repairs to the trail, there are a number of significant repairs which cannot currently be delivered. The areas above are continuing to erode, meaning if they’re not resolved, the costs will only increase in years to come. Through this campaign we hope to restore the most critical areas, safeguarding the South Downs Way for the future.

Follow the link below to make your own contribution to the future of the South Downs.

Thanks to the generosity of thousands, the Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million appeal has succeeded in raising enough money to completely fund work on nearly all 13 of the projects we set out to support – a fantastic result.

Repairs have already started on several of these paths (see the blog for the latest updates), and the rest will be completed over the summer of 2019 and into 2020.

This project, the South Downs Way, has already been fully funded. However, you are still very welcome to make a donation to Mend Our Mountains overall. Your money will go towards either supporting additional work on the projects listed on this website or helping to fund future Mend Our Mountains initiatives.

You can make a donation of any size – choose ‘Donate what you want’ – or select one of the other amounts.

All online donations are currently via PayPal – if you would prefer not to use this method or would like to make a large donation (£500~), please contact the team directly on All money raised goes via the BMC’s charity, the Access and Conservation Trust.

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About Us
Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million is a call to action to everyone who values the hills, mountains and landscapes of Britain. It aims to galvanise mass support for things we all use: the paths, bridleways and bridges which underpin our experiences in the great outdoors. Through a year-long appeal we aim to raise £1 million in total for a range of vital projects within the UK’s entire family of 15 National Parks. Navigate our website to find out more.
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