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acta provides practical services for the conservation of historic landscapes and buildings. Our work includes conservation plans, management plans, heritage assessment and landscape restoration on sites ranging from medieval abbeys to Cold War airfields.

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Managing Heathland Heritage

17th December 2021

About 50,000ha of lowland heathland remains in Britain. Although 60% of this land is protected by Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) status, heathland and its heritage assets are very vulnerable to deterioration from lack of grazing, scrub encroachment, erosion and nutrient enrichment, as well as outright loss to development. In addition, the full potential for restoring heathland has only been realised in a few cases.

In 2016 11 partners led by the South Downs National Park Authority joined forces to expand and connect the fragmented heathlands of the South Downs in the Heathlands Reunited project. As well as expanding, re-establishing and improving heathland, it has inspired communities to visit their local heaths, learn more about them and work together to look after them. acta has prepared Managing Heathland Heritage:

  • To set out the heritage significance of English lowland heaths in general and the South Downs in particular;
  • To identify the main heathland heritage assets and make good practice recommendations for their management, protection and interpretation;
  • To continue the work of Heathlands Reunited in exploring the potential for community use and wellbeing.
Midhurst Common, South Downs National Park
Cover - Managing Heathland Heritage