Biosphere Bulletin - August 2015
Biosphere Here

Nature Now

What's happening in nature this month

& enjoy the
'Butterflies of the Biosphere'

Coming Up...

Biosphere Events in your

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


Sun 2nd Aug (10.30-12.30) - Urban foraging walk, Hove (£10) 

Sun 2nd August (all day) - Beekeeping introduction course , Falmer (£100)

Mon 3rd Aug (10.30-14.30) - Blackcap-Ashcombe butterflies, nr Lewes (free) BC)

Tues 4th Aug (10.00-15.00) - Wildlife Rangers, Stanmer Park, for 12-16 year olds (book, £10) (SWT)

Thurs 6th Aug (10.00-13.30) - Summer butterfly safari, Malling Down, Lewes (book, £13) (SWT)

Fri 7th Aug (10.00-14.00) - Lewes Downs walk, Lewes (free) (SWT)

Sun 9th Aug (12.00-18.00) - Rural Day & Scruffs, St Ann's Well Gdns, Hove (free)

Sun 9th Aug (14.30-16.00) - Bee walk, Lewes Railway Land (free) (RLWT/BCT)

Weds 12th Aug (10.00-14.00) - Stanmer walk, Stanmer Park-Downs (free) (RSPB)

Fri 14th Aug (all day) - Children's Nature day, Brighton's Open Market (free)

Sat 15th Aug (11.00-13.00) - Health Walk, Coldean to the Downs, Brighton (free) (BHCC)

Fri 21st Aug (19.00-21.00) - Amazon & Madagascar fundraising party, Linklater Pavilion, Lewes (£10-20) 

Fri 21st Aug (21.00-23.00) - 'Summer Nights' nature session, Bevendean (£5, book) (BHCC)
Sat 29th Aug (10.30-12.00) - Geocaching Healthwalk, Patcham (free) (BHCC)

Fri 4th Sept (21.00?) - Evening Bat walk, Hollingbury & Burstead Woods (free, book) (FHBW/BHCC)

Sun 13th Sept (10.30-15.30) - Heritage Open Day, Saddlescombe Farm (free) (NT)

Biosphere Here

August 2015

How does your garden grow? 

Dear <<Name>>

Summer is now at its height, the schools are out, and the natural world around us is in full effect (see 'Nature Now' in our Biosphere) - not just 'out there' in the countryside, but also in the green spaces of residential areas - including our own back gardens.

Gardens collectively cover a great area of land, as much as an equivalent area of 10,000 football pitches spread across 63,000 households in Brighton & Hove alone! They of course serve as a place of relaxation and recreation for us, however they also play a vital role in offering a space for local wildlife to feed and breed. In particular our gardens can help support bees and other pollinating insects, without which we would be much the poorer with no fruit or fertilised flowers. How we look after our gardens can thus make a big difference to the health of the world about us, as well as our own own personal wellbeing.

Surprisingly this season of high summer is when our local honey bees have to travel the furthest to forage for their nectar rewards, just when their need is greatest, according to research by the University of Sussex's LASI unit. This finding may be explained by the fact that many of our native wild flowers have finished flowering by now, meaning that the longer and later-flowering exotic plants in peoples' gardens become important as a food resource. Unfortunately most highly-bred ornamental garden plants offer very little in the way of nectar to insects, with a few notable exceptions (see 'WoW' section, below left) that can be up to a hundred times more attractive!    

We have now created a 'Bee Bed' at The Level park in central Brighton, to showcase to the public some of the best garden plants that people can grow to help bees and other pollinators, as a collaborative project between the Biosphere, City Parks and University's LASI research unit. The Level has also just been recognised with a coveted 'Bees Needs' award by the national Green Flag scheme for its dedicated work to benefit pollinating insects. The park's garden manager Stephen Peters reveals the secrets of this success as the guest contributor to this month's 
Bio Blog (below right). Have a look too at Plumpton College researcher Joanne Carnell's video presentation for further information on how your gardening can help the pollinators' plight.

Wishing you a wonderful and buzzing summer!   
Rich Howorth
Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere Partnership

Window On
Our World

Garden Plants for Pollinators

A few species of garden plants are not only highly attractive to us humans but also to pollinating insects too, as highlighted by The Level's gardener (see blog right):  

~ Catmint (Nepeta spp. e.g. x frassenii variety) see picture above

~ Marjoram (Origanum vulgare) – a native wildflower of the Downs

~ Sage (Salvia spp. e.g. x sylvestris ‘caradonna’)

~ Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) – a particular favourite of bumble bees

~ Pe
rennial wallflowers (Erisymum linifolium
e.g. Bowles Mauve var.)




Bio Blog

Gardening the Natural Way

At The Level park there is an inherent commitment to gardening with nature in mind, creating space for wildlife as well as people in this precious restored green space in the heart of Brighton.

Conservation gardening methods are whole-heartedly embraced at The Level, from our choice of plants to the use of alternatives to chemicals and recycling of green waste on site. We aim to increase biodiversity - especially insect pollinators - as part of an attractive public park.

We also wish to get volunteers involved in gardening, and inspire park users in their own gardens to adopt nature-friendly practices such as
 read full blog

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