Page last updated at 18:47 GMT, Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Bryson delivers a giant postcard

Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson is president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England

Author Bill Bryson has presented a giant postcard to the government on behalf of the South Downs Campaign.

The writer is president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, which wants an extended South Downs National Park.

The card is one of 18,500 that have been sent to the government calling on it to include Lewes, Ditchling and the Western Weald in the park boundary.

It has also been signed by presenters Ben Fogle, Floella Benjamin OBE, David Dimbleby and actor Brian Blessed.

'Voice of support'

Mr Bryson said: "The postcard campaign has inspired a huge response from the public who support the National Park.

"It shows the government how important it is to confirm the South Downs National Park with the widest possible boundary.

Currently the area being considered for special status spreads from Hampshire, right through West and East Sussex

"The four areas shown on the postcard - the Western Weald, the chalk downland, the town of Lewes and the village of Ditchling are greatly deserving of National Park status.

"We hope that the government will listen to the many thousands of voices that support this."

The holiday-style postcards are addressed to Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

They request him to include a 371 sq km area (91,676 acres) in West Sussex and Hampshire in the scheme.

A decision on the park is expected early next summer.

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