Projects

BioCultural Heritage Tourism

Celebrating and safeguarding our natural and cultural heritage while encouraging responsible tourism that connects people to nature.

Honey bee on a light purple wild flower in close up

Photo by Liz Finlayson/Vervate

The Living Coast is one of two English and two French UNESCO Biosphere Regions taking part in the BioCultural Heritage Tourism Project. Funded by the Interreg Channel region programme, this pilot project aims to develop tourism opportunities around natural and cultural resources while reducing the impact they have on the environment.

The project is running from 2018 to December 2021 and as a whole it received £3.5 million in funding from Interreg.

A number of local organisations and businesses have had a part in what we’ve achieved with the BioCultural Heritage Tourism project. Thank you to all of them.

How to get involved

Although this project is coming to an end, you can still get involved with the development of biocultural tourism within The Living Coast. Learn more by joining our network of local businesses and community organisations. It’s free to join.

Visit the Organisations section of this website to find out more. To add your organisation to the network complete the simple form and we’ll be in touch soon.

Honey bee on a light purple wild flower in close up

Photo by Liz Finlayson/Vervate

Project objectives

  1. Conserve our natural sites by developing a tourism planning tool to help us plan tourism activities and infrastructure to better protect those sites and connect people with nature.
  2. Create a network of local companies and organisations keen to develop biocultural tourism and to share ideas and insights across the different biospheres.
  3. Trial a way for this local network to collect voluntary contributions from visitors to improve our natural heritage sites.
  4. Pilot new products and experiences for visitors that draw on our rich natural and cultural heritage and support the values of the biosphere.

More information

What’s been achieved?

  • We launched a network for local tourism-related businesses and organisations who share the biosphere values, and have been holding a series of networking events.
  • We developed a Toolkit for Tourism Businesses in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Spring 2021.
  • We worked with So Sussex to develop a series of cycle routes for all abilities and launched The Living Coast by Bike website. You can reach the start and finish of all the routes by public transport and they provide information about the natural and cultural heritage.
  • We’ve collaborated with local individuals and organisations to put on the Homeward Bound Festival in October 2021. It’s a celebration of the fishing and maritime industries, as well as the region’s rich folk music tradition and ocean-bound cultural heritage.
  • We’re working alongside the Stanmer Park Restoration Project and local businesses to develop experiences that connect people and nature, to make the park a hub for biocultural heritage tourism and improve the visitor experience.
  • We’re working with the University of Exeter to develop a master planning tool to support sustainable planning in relation to tourism for the future. As part of this we are working on interactive maps of the biosphere for visitors and for planners.
  • The project funded a display case and a film in the Brighton Museum’s Archaeology Gallery, which opened in January 2019. The display and the film explore how archaeology links in with the work of the biosphere.

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