South Downs National Park launched

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The Independent Online

Britain's 15th national park - South Downs National Park in Hampshire and Sussex - came into being today.

Compared with other "wilder" national parks, South Downs contains historic towns and villages as well as farmland and plenty of walking areas.

The park stretches for 70 miles from eastern Hampshire through West and East Sussex.

Historic towns include Arundel and Petworth in West Sussex and Lewes and Alfriston in East Sussex.

The area of the park already attracts around 39 million visitors a year. The Visit Sussex organisation now expects tourist numbers to swell even more.