South Downs National Park

Case Study


In early 2023, the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) won funding from Innovate UK’s Funding Competition called Net Zero Living: Pathfinder Places. The aim of the programme is to support up to 30 places to develop a plan, with local authorities, to accelerate their transition to net zero. In phase 1 each participant must develop innovative solutions to overcome barriers to implementation. Successful projects from phase 1 will then be invited for phase 2 to deliver their proposals.

The SDNPA teamed up with OnePlanet to deliver their Project: ‘Pathfinder Parks: Modelling a common framework to track and accelerate progress towards Net Zero in National Parks using the OnePlanet Platform.’ The project was supported also by Lewes District Council and the Ouse Valley Climate Action (OVCA) Partnership. 

The overall aim is to develop a new, joined up approach to accelerating Net Zero in National Parks and Areas of Natural Beauty using OnePlanet’s innovative technology solutions. Key outcomes include:

  • An ‘Ecosystem’ vision of shared priorities and trackable sustainability measures. 
  • Coordinated activity of the SDNPA, OVCA partnership and key stakeholders.
  • Knowledge exchange and collaboration across stakeholders.

This project has enabled us to test how the platform can operate at scale with many connected plans and users. This brought up new but exciting challenges for us.


  • Deliver a successful and compelling proof of concept for the Innovate UK competition.

  • Use the OnePlanet platform to create an ‘Ecosystem’ framework which focuses on key, shared priorities and supports the setting and monitoring of clear, evidence-based targets for sustainability measures.

  • Scale up the OnePlanet platform across a large spatial area such as the South Downs.

  • Engage with a large number of stakeholders and use the OnePlanet Ecosystem to connect them through shared outcomes and shared indicators to facilitate collaborative action. 

Be it local community groups, local authorities or sector partners, we’ve often struggled to pull all of their activity together. The OnePlanet platform supports us to overcome this in a way that enables us to work very proactively on our key challenges.

Our ambition is to create a model and connect all national parks.

OnePlanet Solution

The use of the OnePlanet platform is central to delivering a joined-up approach for tracking and driving progress towards net zero across different sectors whilst also meeting other key social, health and environmental outcomes.

The OnePlanet platform achieves this through:

  • Strategy mapping. The OnePlanet team mapped up to 25 different organisations in the South Downs National Park area. Ranging from local governments to local businesses and large businesses to community organisations. 

  • ‘Ecosystem Plan’. Common goals were identified to create a vision of Shared Outcomes that the South Downs National Park was trying to achieve. 

  • Workshops. Participants in the project were brought together to collaborate on the finalisation of the Ecosystem Plan. 

  • Training. Individual online sessions and a second round of workshops were carried out to deliver basic training to participants. 

  • Connections. Opportunities for collaboration between the participants were identified using the Connections tool on the OnePlanet platform. 

  • Search Tool. Opportunities to share knowledge and learn from other partners were enabled by using the Search Tool to inquire key terms such as ‘retrofit’ or ‘tree planting’.

We’re mapping our community on the OnePlanet platform and I can see lots of potential in terms of linking it to national strategies and targets, figuring out our own internal planning, linking to other organisations’ outcomes and seeing where there are synergies - it’s really exciting!

Benefits and Return on Investment

  • Overcoming systemic barriers: by creating a common framework for participants in the South Downs National Park.


  • Collaboration: by using the OnePlanet platform to identify activity around Shared Outcomes and opportunities to work together.


  • Knowledge sharing: by using the OnePlanet platform to centralise all participants actions in a visual and engaging manner where they can learn from each other.


  • Avoid double counting: by centralising data and using Shared Indicators to monitor activity.