The new South Downs National Park Ranger Experience is an exciting and immersive tour packed with interesting information and breath taking views.
The idea is the brainchild of Park Ranger Tim Squire, who leads the experiences, and the parks sustainable tourism expert, Katherine Hale.
Tim and Kat devised the route for the trips which start at the Seven Sisters, continuing to Deep Dean for a picnic lunch and butterfly surveying (we managed to catch a glimpse of the rare Adonis Blue Butterfly).
Lunch was included within the tour and it did not disappoint.
Kat put so much effort into ensuring everybody was catered for right down to the smallest detail and provided fresh bakery pasties, brownies, tea, coffee, sparkling juices and locally sourced fruits.
After lunch the tour drops in on the Long Man of Wilmington then stops in for a quick, but very scrumptious, tasting session at The Long Man Brewery.
Hearing Tim’s enthusiasm and pure adoration for not only the nature within the South Downs but also his job is infectious and inspiring; the trip would not be the same without it.
We learnt a wealth of information about the beautiful Downs, I had no idea exmoor ponies live on them and I never noticed how intricate a small patch of grass can be and how much wildlife it contains.
Tim also explained the South Downs was only granted National Park status in 2011 after a fight for the title going back as far as World War II, which was very surprising.
Not only were we treated to the best view available of the picturesque Seven Sisters but also the picnic spot was so tranquil and off the beaten track, it would be almost impossible to find without insider knowledge.
The experience days are currently being piloted as part of a wider scale operation to encourage sustainable tourism in the UK’s National Parks.
It is currently one of around 73 experiences available with eight other National Parks offering similar things.
The South Downs Ranger Experience is a fantastic day spent taking in globally iconic scenery with some truly fascinating people.
So much information is on offer during the tour and seeing the park through the eyes of a ranger is an experience like no other.
Tours start at 10am from Seaford Station, where participants will be picked up and dropped off in the same Land Rover used for the tour.
Remaining dates are 5, 6 and 7 of Sept but spaces are being snapped up fast.
More dates are to be announced in the autumn.
For bookings and more information visit airbnb.co.uk.