UNESCO World Biosphere Region

Brighton and Hove

Type:Nature Trail / Watching

The Living Coast, Brighton & Lewes Downs, Sussex
UNESCO World Biosphere Region - The Living Coast (Brighton & Lewes Downs)


The Brighton & Lewes Downs UNESCO Biosphere Region is an area that stretches between the river Adur and Ouse, where the chalk grasslands of the South Downs National Park meet the English Channel and continues into a Marine Conservation Zone out at sea off the coast of Brighton. The area includes the river estuaries of Shoreham-by-Sea and Newhaven, the historic seaside city of Brighton & Hove and the market town of Lewes.

There are 701 Unesco World Bioshphere Regions in the world, only two currently in the UK, one in and around Brighton and the Lewes Downs, the other on the Isle of Wight.  This Living Coast is one of only a handful that includes a large urban area. Today, the 'Living Coast' aims to be a thriving environment for all. A place where people can connect with nature and live well together, celebrating and reinvigorating the natural wonders of this shared space.

The Living Coast is made up of many diverse habitats including:-

  • Dry Chalk Valleys
  • Floodplain meadows
  • Vegetated Shingle
  • Chalk reefs

Next time you visit Brighton, head to the West Pier at sunset and marvel at swirling murmurations of starlings (Nov - March), or search for dainty orchids on the Downs, explore the wooded trails and flowing seaside paths and marvel at the amazing Living Coast that you are exploring.

The Living Coast is a UNESCO World Biosphere Region, a region rich in cultural and natural heritage.

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What's Nearby

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