|From Adur to the Ouse. (Google Maps)|
Around 150 square miles of Sussex countryside, coast and urban settlements could soon be declared a Biosphere Reserve recognising it as one of the world’s finest environments.
Over the past two years, a partnership of more than 30 groups, including local councils, educational establishments, businesses, conservation groups and voluntary organisations, have been working together to produce a Biosphere bid to UNESCO and an accompanying management strategy. Brighton & Hove City Council’s environment committee is now set to endorse the management strategy which will allow it to move forward with the application for Biosphere status.
The proposed Biosphere area lies between the River Adur and the River Ouse and includes the City of Brighton & Hove and the South Downs National Park here. It is home to a variety of rare wildlife habitats including chalk grassland, the National Elm collection, wetland and estuarine environments, shingle beaches, chalk cliffs and reefs. The strategy is now on course to produce the first new UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the UK for 40 years.
The area is home to over 350,000 residents and attracts 12 million visitors each year. The strategy aims to raise awareness and inspire better care of the local countryside, coastal and urban environments in order to promote a balanced relationship between people and nature.
If agreed by all the partners, the application will be completed and submitted to UNESCO in September and a decision will be made by June/July next year. Brighton & Hove’s Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee meets on Tuesday, 9 July.
Further details:- Sussex on course for first new Biosphere Reserve