The Living Coast?
Watch the video
The Living Coast is a UNESCO World Biosphere Region. It embraces a wonderfully biodiverse stretch of the chalky South Downs and Sussex coast between the River Adur at Shoreham-by-Sea and the River Ouse at Newhaven.
The Living Coast aims to be a thriving environment for all. A place where people can connect with nature and live well together, enjoying, celebrating and reinvigorating the natural wonders of our shared home.
of a million people
live within The Living Coast
The Living Coast
making it about the same size as the
Isle of Wight
The Living Coast each year
What is a biosphere?
The biosphere is our global ecosystem – it’s the zone of life on earth. It’s the world we share with other living organisms and encompasses everything that’s needed to sustain that life: the soil, the air we breathe, the water and everything else we need to survive.
A biosphere reserve (or biosphere region) is an area designated by UNESCO to inspire a positive future for people and nature, by considering everything that’s needed to make life sustainable.
Biospheres exist to help us learn how best to balance biodiversity and sustainable development.
Why is The Living Coast a biosphere?
The Living Coast includes
Marine Conservation Zone
The River Ouse and the River Adur
City & Towns and Coast
Sites of Special Scientific Interest
2 are National Nature Reserves
Chalk grasslands, dry chalk valleys, floodplain meadows, vegetated shingle beaches, river estuaries and chalk reefs are home to thousands of species, among them rare plants and wildlife. Gems as varied as the Adonis blue butterfly and the shy short-snouted seahorse, the early spider orchid and the skilful hovering skylark.
Of the 700+ UNESCO biospheres worldwide, The Living Coast is one of a handful that includes a large urban area – Brighton & Hove. This gives us an outstanding opportunity to support projects that pioneer ways to balance the daily needs of people and nature.
The region was designated the Brighton & Lewes Downs UNESCO World Biosphere Region in 2014 and is branded as The Living Coast.
Watch the full video – 13mins
Learn more about our vision for The Living Coast Biosphere and our key themes in our Biosphere Management Strategy.
- Conserve and enhance nature
- Support sustainable human development
- Promote environmental awareness, knowledge, learning and engagement
Our projects span nature conservation, sustainable socio-economic development and environmental awareness. Anything from greening urban spaces and improving water quality, to promoting active travel and biocultural tourism, to research about our environment.
Learning to share
In everything we do, there’s a focus on learning how people and nature can flourish together for generations to come. We work with other organisations and projects that are doing the same, and share what we learn with others locally, nationally and through the global community of biospheres.