Our Habitats

We have a unique mix of chalk downland, city and marine environments – providing a rich mosaic of linked habitats.

1 2

Lowland chalk grassland

– this environment supports the greatest botanical diversity in the UK, along with many beautiful and rare invertebrates and other animals

Farm land

– many farmers are taking on agri-environment schemes such as introducing buffer strips along field margins, wild bird cover crops, pollen and nectar wildflower mixes and less intensive hedgerow management

Deciduous woodland

– including park woodland such as Stanmer, but also ancient woodland (at least 400 years old) in the Low Weald area of the Biosphere. This environment supports many diverse flora and fauna such as bluebells, dormice and bats

3 4 5

Freshwater wetlands

– the two river valleys of the Adur and Ouse are home to many plant, bird and amphibian species. Groundwater emerges at the base of the chalk downlands as spring line streams such as at Newtimber and Poynings. There are also man-made dew ponds creating fluctuating aquatic habitat on the downs.

Urban greenspace

– urban green spaces include public parks, private gardens, allotments, school and housing estate grounds, cemeteries. More emphasis on ‘wild habitat’ creation (e.g. planting wildflower meadows, pond creation, hedgerow maintenance) is improving the link between the countryside and town – providing food and shelter for wildlife in our settlements

Coastal environment

– our (part-protected) coastline supports rare coastal species on the chalk cliffs, inter-tidal chalk reef and vegetated shingle beaches.

Marine environment

– our near-shore seas conceal an off-shore chalk ledge running out to sea like a miniature version of the Downs.