Bespoke signs that reflect the unique heritage of the South Downs and create a sense of arrival are being installed at 19 pilot sites at specially chosen locations at, or near, the National Park’s borders across Sussex and Hampshire.

The signs will help people know that they are in a unique landscape that has been designated for the whole nation and deserves special care and attention. Every location has been carefully selected at key entry points to the stunning landscape and each sign’s size and design have been tailor-made to fit its surroundings.

The signs are made from iron or a mixture of wood and iron – reflecting the history of iron work in the South Downs during the 17th and 18th centuries and that the South Downs has the most woodland of any English National Park. The sweet chestnut wood used in the signs has been locally sourced from the Stansted Estate by English Woodlands. The white lettering reflects the iconic chalk landscape of the South Downs.

Trevor Beattie, Chief Executive of the South Downs National Park Authority said: “Throughout history boundary markers have used local materials to reflect a community’s pride in its place. These bespoke signs are part of that tradition.

“We will carefully assess the response to the first 19 sites before deciding whether to proceed with further locations.”

The signs draw upon the National Park’s Shared Identity, which is a place brand for the National Park and is used by local partners, stakeholders and businesses.

The introduction of bespoke signage is a pilot initiative. If they are thought to be successful, the Authority may consider introducing more in the future.