Biosphere Bulletin - December 2013
Biosphere Here

 Coming Up...

Biosphere Bodies'
events in your

Sat 14th December (10.00) - Xmas Fun Time @ Booth Museum
(RSPB Brighton Starlings)
(kids 7-12) (£2.50)

Tues 17th December (19.15) - Old South Downs Christmas @ All Saints Centre, Lewes
(South Downs Society charity evening) (£9.50 advance tickets only)

Sat 21st December (10.00) - Coast walk @ Tide Mills / Ouse Estuary
(RSPB group)

Sat 21st December (14.30) - Winter Solstice walk @ Devil's Dyke
(BHCC Health Walk)

Weds 15th January 2014 (10.00) - River Ouse walk @ Lewes Levels
(RSPB group)

Fri 17th January (10.30) - Wildlife & History walk @ Lewes Downs
(SWT) (donations)

Weds 22nd January (19.00) - Clean Bin film @ Hollingdean Community Centre
(BHFP / local waste-busting campaign)

Sat-Sun 25-26 January (1 hr) - Big Garden Birdwatch @ your local greenspace!
Sat 8th February (09.45) - Jack & Jill walk @ Clayton

Thurs 20th Feb (18.00) - Sussex Night Skies course @ Woods Mill, Henfield
(SWT) (£16)

Fri 28th February (closing date!) - Photography competition @ South Downs









Biosphere Here

December 2013

Dear <<Name>>

"Boring worms and burrowing piddocks…"
Not the average urbanite's view of nature (!), but instead just two of the fantastic marine creatures that inhabit the chalk reef that lies beneath the waves from Brighton Marina eastwards to Beachy Head which has just become one of the first new 'Marine Conservation Zones' in England.

The wave-cut chalk platform extends half a kilometre out to sea, with a surface pitted with holes created by these ‘boring’ animals, whilst an underwater forest of kelp seaweed grows in the shallows. Dense clusters of blue mussels and native oysters can be found on the reef gullies and ridgetops, together with sponges, anemones, sea squirts, lobsters and spider crabs. Rare long- and short-snouted seahorses (actually fish) also occur here, together with critically endangered European eels whose young ‘elvers’ migrate along the coast and up the river estuaries.

one of just 27 areas designated nationally so far, 'Beachy Head West' MCZ provides a legal framework for nature conservation and sustainable management of the marine environment here for the first time. This will allow different interest groups - from fishermen and sailors to divers and naturalists - to work together to further the conservation objectives. The western half of this new site, as far as Newhaven Harbour, will form the marine "buffer zone" of our proposed UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and thus complement the adjacent South Downs National Park on land. 

We wish our 'Seasons Greetings' to all 1500 Friends of the Biosphere, and look forward to sharing a successful 2014 with you - when we hope to become the first new Biosphere area declared in the UK by UNESCO in almost 40 years!

Chris Todd (Chair)
Brighton & Hove and Lewes Downs Biosphere Partnership

Window On
Our World:

Winter is a great time to enjoy our sea shores, where you can:
~ explore the strandline to see what the latest storm has washed up
~ marvel at great wintering flocks of wading birds in our estuaries
~ witness the masses of starlings that roost each evening on the piers

Keep an eye out too for scarce purple sandpipers on the harbour arms' walls!


Great coastal sites in the Biosphere to visit are:

- Adur Estuary
 (RSPB reserve, upriver of new Adur Ferry Bridge)
- Undercliff Walk chalk coast
(access from Marina, Ovingdean, Rottingdean & Saltdean)
Ouse Estuary
(ESCC nature reserve, east of Newhaven)



Our local seas are increasingly the focus for new initiatives by different bodies, including:

- 'Community Voices' film and workshops (Sussex IFCA) - a project to document,  publicise and debate different views on the new MCZs in local workshops next summer to inform their management

- 'Sustainable Fish' campaign (B&H Food Partnership) - supporting our consumption of local, sustainable and healthy fish under the aim to become a 'Sustainable Fish City' 

- Rampion offshore wind farm (E.ON) - up to 175 turbines are proposed lying over 8 miles offshore of Brighton, with a formal planning examination currently taking place for a decision by Govenment next summer 

Copyright © 2013 Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere, All rights reserved.
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