Biosphere Zones

Core Areas – The 14 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) which lie almost entirely within the South Downs National Park form a ‘string of pearls’ of nature conservation sites which are home to a rich mixture of rare orchid wild flowers, butterflies, birds and geological interest. Two of these sites – Castle Hill and Mount Caburn – are also designated as National Nature Reserves and European Special Areas of Conservation for their chalk grassland wildlife.

Buffer Zones – The remainder of the South Downs National Park (excluding Lewes) and the new Marine Conservation Zone of ‘Beachy Head West’ (western section along the coast between Brighton Marina and Newhaven) represent our areas of sustainable management.

Transition Areas –  The urban areas of Brighton & Hove, Lewes, Newhaven, Peacehaven, Shoreham, Southwick and Telscombe represent the test beds for sustainable development.  This could be through more wildlife rich housing estates, parks and open spaces, healthy local food production and greener built development for example. The rest of the sea makes up the marine transition area, which can supply sustainable fish for local consumption.

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