The sight and sound of Herring Gulls are a real feature of living in Brighton & Hove. As they have no enemies in the animal world their numbers are rising. They like living in the city as they can easily find food and they also like to building nests on rooftops.
A biosphere means that this area has recently been listed by the United Nations as an “outstanding natural landscape” with varied habitats. Brighton and Lewes Downs Biosphere is one of six biosphere reserves in the UK. It covers 400 sq km of land and sea between the River Adur and the River Ouse. The idea is to bring together the three environments of the countryside, the coast, and the places where people live.
Nesting bluetit at Fiveways Brighton
These are the 10 most common birds found in our local gardens. The Sussex Ornithological Society has the most information about our local birds. A very detailed book The Birds of Sussex is available from their website.
The Brighton Starlings Wildlife Explorer group currently meets on the third Saturday of the month (except August -also check their website to confirm) at the Booth Museum of Natural History in Dyke Road Brighton BN1 5AA. They publish a list of where to see birds in Brighton and they also hold family events.
The The Undercliff Walk is 4.5km long from the Marina to Saltdean. It is a white concrete walkway at the foot of the cliffs stretching from the Brighton Marina along the coast to Saltdean. The walk is open all year round, with breathtaking views of the sea on a clear day, or indeed a dramatic close up view of the waves on a stormy day. There are gaps in the cliffs at Ovingdean and Rottingdean where the Undercliff Walk can be reached by a set of steps.The Undercliff Walk was designed by borough engineer David Edwards, and opened in 1933. It was built as a solution to the damage that the sea was doing to the chalk cliffs through erosion. The Undercliff walk is maintained by the Council. The cliffs themselves are covered with wire mesh to protect walkers from falling flints. Many birds can be found nesting in the white cliffs, commonly gulls and pigeons.
http://www.thisbrighton.co.uk/cultureundercliff.htm (The website itself is no longer maintained, but there is still plenty of useful information about the Undercliff walk, and many pictures)
Bees are kept for their honey and beeswax. The honey bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by humans.
Bee keeping is popular around Brighton and Hove- the local association is the Brighton and Lewes Bee Keeping Association. Bees are essential for the environment – over 90% of crops depend on honey bees and that if the honey bee died out humans race could die out within 4 years. Bees have six legs, two eyes, and two wings, a nectar pouch, and a stomach.Their wings stroke 11,400 times per minute – that’s what which makes the buzzing sound.
Bee related activities for schools from the British Bee Keeping Association
Image from livefortheoutdoors.com
Brighton and Hove is south of the chalk hills of the South Downs. The most common crops grown on the Downs are wheat, barley and oilseed rape. This is because they all grow well in light, chalky soil. Cows and sheep are the animals you’re most likely to find grazing on the Downs.The chalk ridge of hills is all that remains of a huge ‘crown’ of a hill that went all the way up to the North Downs near London.
The farmland around Brighton is not a ‘natural’ landscape’. What we see now has been shaped by people over thousands of years. Sheep grazing, hedging and ploughing have made the land look like it does today.
Brighton & Hove City Council owns about 6,000 hectares (14,000 acres) of countryside around the city - most of the land from Saltdean to Ditchling Beacon and around Hove towards Southwick. Most of this land is in the South Downs National Park, amounting to over 40% of the City of Brighton & Hove.
Brighton & Hove Sheep
Learning resources from the South Downs National Park
Sussex Wildlife Trust
The Stanmer Estate