Brighton & Lewes Downs UNESCO Biosphere Reserve joined the UK Network of Biosphere Reserves in 2014, as part of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme. As the UK’s only urban Biosphere, also known as The Living Coast, the team have been helping their communities connect with the healing power of nature from the safety of their homes throughout the Covid-19 response.
They have utilised their website and social media channels to bring the great outdoors indoors through the Nature2020 project, marking the end of the International Decade of Biodiversity and promoting learning about the local flora and fauna through a nature ID app and associated learning support tools.
Neighbours in Brighton’s Roundhill area decided to take part by creating Nature Windows for the Spring Equinox, on 20 March, using a variety of colourful materials.
At the end of April the Biosphere Reserve issued the City Nature Challenge where individuals could take part at home in the global challenge to record biodiversity together with other cities across the world.
Another initiative was the Back Garden Bird Race, where people were asked to sit in their gardens or look out of their windows for one hour every weekend and note down all the wild bird species that they saw. Details of sightings were entered on the Nature Table Facebook group.
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