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

BCHT Interreg logo

The Living Coast was 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 aimed to develop tourism opportunities around natural and cultural resources whilst
reducing the impact they have on the environment.
The project ran 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 has officially come 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 ‘For Organisations’ section of this website to find out how to add your business to our Directory and utilise the various free resources that have been developed.

Honey bee on a light purple wild flower in close up

Photo by Liz Finlayson/Vervate

Outcomes of the project

  • We worked with the University of Exeter to develop a decision-support tool to assist in strategic tourism planning for a sustainable future, including an interactive map showing areas of pressure and opportunity. 
  • A toolkit on how to be a tourism business in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve was developed to help local businesses embrace the concept of BioCultural Heritage Tourism. It offers practical guidance on how to make the most of our natural and cultural heritage, as well as making your business more sustainable.
  • We worked in collaboration with the South Downs National Park Trust in planning for a local Visitor Giving scheme.
  • We collaborated with Homeward Bound Shanties and other local individuals and organisations to put on the Homeward Bound Festival in October 2021. This was a non-profit festival celebrating the fishing and maritime industries, as well as the region’s rich folk music tradition and ocean-bound cultural heritage.
  • 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.

More information



  • A Business Directory was established as a platform for local businesses to share their actions
    in how they are aligned to the objectives of The Living Coast.
  • A suite of destination marketing assets has been created which are free for local businesses to use who want to attract visitors who appreciate connecting with nature and local culture. The assets include marketing copy, an image library and 5 themed short films.
  • We worked with So Sussex to develop a series of cycle routes for all abilities and launched The Living Coast by Bike website. Each route starts and finishes at a train station and provides information about the natural and cultural heritage you will see en-route.
  • We worked alongside the Stanmer Park Restoration Project and local businesses to make the park a hub for biocultural heritage tourism and improve the visitor experience. We also developed more information for visitors and residents to explore and learn more about
    Brighton & Hove’s largest park.

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