Biosphere Bulletin - March 2016
Biosphere Here

Nature Now

What's happening in nature this month

Coming Up...

Biosphere Events in your

Please visit our events calendar for full details of all of the events listed below

Sun 6th March (13.30-15.30) - Lewes Railway Land wildflower planting, Linklater, Lewes (free) (LDC)

Tues 8th March - Sun 10th April - White Hawk Hill film, Brighton Museum (free)

Fri 11th March - Sun 3rd April - EARTH environmental art exhibition, ONCA gallery, Brighton (free) 

Fri 11th March (19.30) - Bumblebee Conservation talk, Lewes (£) (BCT) 

Sat 12th March (14.00-17.00) - B&H Wildlife Forum 'Get Together', West Blatchington windmill, Hove (free)

Thurs 17th March (11.00) - Racehill Orchard walk, Whitehawk (free) (BHFP)

Sat 19th March (10.30-17.00) - Green Architecture Day, Sallis Benney, Brighton, £40 (BPT)

Thurs 24th March (19.30) - Swift talk - BHASVIC, Brighton, £3 (RSPB)

Sat 26th March (10.00-13.00) - Easter Egg hunt cycle ride, Shoreham (free) (SDNPA) 

Sat-Mon 26-28th March (11.00-15.00) - Easter Egg hunt, Devil's Dyke, £3, (NT)

Mon 28th March (10.45-12.00) - Egg-rolling competition, Devil's Dyke, £1, (NT)

Tues 29th March (10.00-15.00) - Wildlife Rangers youth day, 12-16 yr olds, Stanmer Park, Brighton (£) (SWT)

Thurs 31st March (10.30-15.00) - Wild Woodies kids day, 6-11 yr olds, Stanmer Park, Brighton, £21 (SWT) 
Fri 8th April (10.00-12.30) - Wheatears wildlife walk, Lewes, £3 (SWT)

Tuesdays, 12th April x 9 weeks - The Nature Connection: Into The Wildness course, East Sussex, £495+ (School of Wild)

Biosphere Here

March 2016

"So long, and thanks for all the fish"
- desperately seeking dolphins!

Dear <<Name>>

The final parting words from Douglas Adams’ cult 1979 novel 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy', as the dolphins used their superior intelligence to leave Planet Earth prior to its destruction, seem apt here given their rarity in the face of varied environmental threats. We are encouraging our 2000-strong 'Friends of the Biosphere' network to look out for dolphins and other sea mammals, and then report any sightings you are lucky enough to enjoy. You can play a vital role as a "citizen scientist" (focus of our last issue): be the eyes and ears of our Biosphere!

To help you in this important mission, local marine biologist Steve Savage reveals the marine mammals to be found in our Biosphere in this month's Bio Blog 
(below right), including an introduction to the most common species in the 'WoW' section (below left) to get you started.

The health of sea mammal populations can tell us much about the state of our seas - given their highly mobile nature and position at the top of the marine food chain - and help to highlight the diverse issues facing both them and us here. Impacts range from climate change and warming seas, through marine pollution by chemicals and micro-plastics waste, to potential conflict and disturbance from fisheries and inshore motor boats recreation.  

A number of initiatives are working to tackle different issues, including a new national network of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) intended to form a ‘Blue Belt’ around the UK. Earlier this year, a second wave of MCZs were designated by the Government in English waters to protect important seabed habitats and endangered species, including three offshore sites to add to the three inshore Sussex MCZs that we have here. 

There's lots of ways to get more involved in looking after and enjoying our marine environment, although the popular WhaleFest at the Brighton Centre is taking a break this year.
Easter and the school holidays are coming up however, so you'll find plenty of other eco-activities happening - such as the Easter egg hunt and customary egg-rolling at Devil's Dyke - so check our
Calendar (list, left) to see how they 'roll' for you.

With Spring now starting to show its green shoots and first flowers, it's a great time to get back outdoors and active again as the winter begins to wane - take a look at our
'Nature Now' monthly diary to get you going!

Enjoy springing back to life this month!   
Rich Howorth
Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere Partnership

Window On
Our World

Marine Mammals

Four species of sea mammals are most frequently seen in our Biosphere area, namely a dolphin, porpoise and two seals:

~ Bottlenose dolphin - most common cetacean, though transient and now rarely seen inshore as humans disturb them 

~ Harbour porpoise - more rarely seen, with distinct triangular fin  

Grey seal (pic, left) - less frequent locally, with dog-like head

Common seal (right) - more commonly seen, especially in winter, hauled out by tidal rivers 

Bio Blog

Desperately Seeking Dolphins! 

Our Biosphere's coast may not be the first place that comes to mind for spotting sea mammals, but you might be surprised to know that dolphins, seals and occasionally even whales are spotted in the sea of our Biosphere each year!

We actively encourage local people to report any sightings they are lucky enough to witness of marine mammals, and include a photo if at all possible. 

So when you are next on the beach, river bank or cliff top, keep your eyes peeled for the Biosphere’s more unusual mammals - good luck and happy ‘hunting’…read full blog

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