We work in partnership with a other organisations to achieve things we can’t do on our own. We have a representative of the South Downs National Park Authority on our Steering Group and we’ve worked with Steyning Community Orchard to set up a new Community Orchard on the Rifle Range. We also have a longstanding partnership with A Rocha UK who provide guidance and occasional financial support.

The Steyning Downland Scheme encourages local people to engage with the natural world, but we do not have a campaigning role. Please go to the Steyning 10.10 website for information on local campaigns to combat climate change, reduce plastic use and others.

Please note: The SDS is not responsible for the content of external websites, and a reference and/or link to any such site does not imply any form of recommendation or endorsement by the SDS.

Steyning Dukes and Downland Project

In 2014 we partnered with the South Downs National Park, Butterfly Conservation and Wakehurst Place, Kew, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, in a three year project to bring the rare Duke of Burgundy butterfly back to the Steyning Downland.

Teams of volunteers were recruited and trained in butterfly recording and habitat management. Cowslip and Primrose are the food plants for the Duke of Burgundy and we learned some professional techniques for harvesting and propagating their seed, with help from the Millennium Seed Bank.

two women photographing a butterfly on plants on the Downland

During 2015, we collected 1,934 butterfly records, representing 5,969 individual butterflies. 35 butterfly species were recorded (78% of the Sussex species total), including the first Silver-spotted Skipper to be ever seen on our site! Although funding for the project has come to an end, the butterfly monitoring continues each year, following a nationally recognised methodology. Find out more about our butterfly monitoring and look at the results.