The Murray Downland Trust was founded in 1993 and named after both Dr Elizabeth (Betty) Murray, former Principal of Bishop Otter College, and her brother, Kenneth Murray. The Murrays were pioneers of Downland conservation at Heyshott, West Sussex.
The Trust is a Registered Charity and a Company Limited by Guarantee under the Companies Act.
The Trust rescues and enhances neglected areas of unimproved Chalk Downland in the counties of Sussex and Hampshire, revealing their richness in terms of the species of flora and fauna present. The formal objectives are laid down in the Trust's Memorandum of Association (Clause 3) as "... for the public benefit, the preservation, protection, development and improvement of areas of land by botanical, zoological, ecological, archaeological, historical or landscape interest or of natural beauty, by the aquisition by gift, purchase or lease or management by arrangement of downland, grassland, fenland, woodlands, agricultural land, common land and any land whatsoever."
The Directors have set their short and medium term objectives as managing small areas of Chalk Downland in Sussex and Hampshire, and so establishing a 'chain' of reserves.