Families are invited to the Biosphere Half Term Road Show this week [February 18-24], offering family fun whilst seeking views on proposals to make the sea, city and landscape around Brighton & Hove and Lewes into a Biosphere Reserve.
Volunteers from the ‘Biosphere Here Here’ campaign will be at a different venue in Brighton & Hove every day from Monday to Saturday, showing a digital photo exhibition of the development of the unique landscape and wildlife found in the area, with a kids quiz and free give away of wild flower seeds, with questionnaires to fill in.
“We have a unique opportunity to create a Biosphere Reserve here. These areinternational sites of excellence for nature conservation and sustainable development and they are working examples of a more balanced relationship between people and nature,” said Chris Todd, chair of the Biosphere Partnership.
“We want to hear people’s views on our bid which will be presented later this year to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the body which awards the Biosphere Reserve status. If successful, this would open up opportunities to seek funding for projects which improve the local environment. It would be recognition of our world-class environment and would help raise awareness, boost civic pride and strengthen the local economy.”
“This week’s road show is a great opportunity for families to find out more about the Biosphere bid and have fun at the same time and I urge people to make the effort and find out more about this exciting project.”
For people who cannot make the road show times, there will be a static display in Jubilee Library all week, whilst for the more adventurous, the week culminates in a guided walk organised by the National Trust on the last Sunday of half term at Saddlescombe Farm entitled ‘3,000 years in 3 hours’, exploring the long history of the farm and its surrounding landscape.
The free road show events, which include a photo exhibition called ‘South Downs to Coastal Towns: our changing landscape’,will be at the following locations from 10am – 2pm:
Monday, 18thFebruary – Hove Town Hall, BN3 4AH
Tuesday, 19th February – Portslade Village Centre, BN41 2LL
Wednesday, 20th February – Whitehawk Library, The Hub, BN2 5FL
Thursday, 21st February – Preston Park Bowls Pavilion
Friday, 22nd February – Moulsecoomb Childrens Centre, BN2 4SE
Saturday, 23rd February – Brighton Jubilee Library, BN1 1GE
Sunday, 24thFebruary – Saddlescombe Farm (Guided walk – cost £3)
The following week, the roadshow will be at Hangleton Community Centre, from 1 – 3pm on Wednesday, 27thFebruary.
The proposed Biosphere Reserve area lies roughly between the River Adur to the River Ouse, including the majority of the South Downs National Park, Brighton & Hove, Lewes, Newhaven, Peacehaven and Telscombe. It covers some 340 square kilometres, including extending out to sea and is approximately the same size as the Isle of Wight.
The Biosphere Road Show is one of the ways that the Brighton & Hove and Lewes Downs Partnership, is reaching out to the public during its three-month consultation which started on Monday January 28 and ends on Monday April 22. Responses can be made online via www.biospherehere.org.ukor in writing, either posted in a ballot box on the stalls or returned in a pre-paid envelope.
The Brighton & Hove and Lewes Downs Partnership is made up of 20 organisations: Adur District Council, Brighton & Hove Bus Company, Brighton & Hove City Council, Brighton & Hove Community & Voluntary Sector Forum, Brighton & Hove Friends of the Earth, Dorothy Stringer School, Environment Agency, Horsham District Council, Lewes District Council, Lewes Railway Land Wildlife Trust, Mid-Sussex District Council, National Trust, Natural England, Plumpton College, RSPB, South Downs National Park Authority, Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, Sussex Wildlife Trust, University of Brighton and University of Sussex.