What is Biodiversity?
Biodiversity is the rich variety of living things that we find on the earth. Where they live together in a particular place they form an ecosystem. All the living things that live within ecosystems are linked together in food chains and food webs.
Why are Ecosystems Important?
Human beings rely on a host of invisible services that ecosystems provide. For example: they provide foods, medicines and energy; they regulate nutrient recycling and waste; they lock up carbon; they maintain clean air and water, they supply crop pollination, seed dispersal, pest and disease control; they preserve genetic diversity and provide recreation for us all.
What Threatens Natural Ecosystems?
It's likely that those ecosystems that are most able to recover from severe environmental crises (like the effects of the 1987 hurricane) will be those that contain the most species. Unfortunately, as our demands on the natural world become greater, many species of plant and animal are lost. Since we rely on a high biodiversity to maintain the ecosystem services we must not only protect local biodiversity but also create conditions where by it may increase.
The Big Nature Charity
Big Nature is a non-for-profit company limited by guarantee, in the process of applying for charitable status. Our goal is to inspire a renaissance in the relationship between local wildlife and ourselves. To do this we aim to take three major steps:
1) Undertake a program of habitat restoration within the Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere, creating new habitats wherever the opportunity arises.
2) Promote Biodiversity Education within the Biosphere both on our own and with partner organisations.
3) Build the Big Nature Centre in the heart of the Biosphere.
This event is aimed to encourage local wildlife into our lives, its on Sat 3rd October at 1 to 4 pm, in the foyer of the Brighton Centre. Click here for further info.
Big Nature Centre
“Big Nature” is in many senses a synonym for biodiversity, which used in its broadest sense, includes the almost infinite variety found in life at the ecosystem, species and genetic levels. The Big Nature Centre is designed both to nourish the experts and to introduce members of the public to the diversity of life found in their local environment. From the eight-year-old child to the octogenarian, the Centre will raise bio-literacy and bio-numeracy skills, helping people to gain confidence about their understanding of the world around them.
The Big Nature Centre will be used as an inclusive facility, since everyone shares the biosphere; we are all stakeholders, with vested interests in maintaining a healthy environment. By raising an understanding of why our local environment is important, the aim is to promote bio-empathy - an individual’s emotional connection with the natural world, so that we may all learn the true value of our natural heritage.
The communities of Brighton & Hove and Lewes have gained the designation as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This aims to integrate the natural environment with these conurbations, breaking down the artificial divide between urban and rural areas, urban and rural living, enriching the lives of the people in the process. The Big Nature Centre is an integral part of this objective, demonstrating how the goals of the Biosphere Reserve can turn into positive action. Providing a central focus, as well as visitor’s centre for the reserve.
Ponds of the Biosphere
We are very excited to announce, that Big Nature intends to find out how many ponds there are in the Biosphere by undertaking a survey here on this website. If you have a pond you will be able to upload its coordinates by clicking on a map of the Biosphere. Once we know where there are ponds we will also know where there are not any ponds and so in phase two Big Nature intends to encourage the creation of ponds where formally there had been none. How about that for increasing the biodiversity within your garden? If more people do this within these identified areas, so we will be making a contribution to nature conservation on a landscape scale, more information to follow soon.
The PEA Awards
The PEA (People Environment & Achievement) Awards, are now in it’s sixth year, reflects a desire to recognise inspirational people who are making a difference to the green agenda and acknowledge their crucial contributions. This year this national award ceremony comes to Brighton & Hove to celebrate the establishment of the UNESCO designated Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere and Big Nature has been asked to promote and judge the new NATURE category. For more information about this celebration of environmental achievement go to: peaawards.com
Big Nature @ Dorothy Stringer School
Download the Big Nature Centre Brochure: here (5.9Mb pdf)
Download the Big Nature @ Dorothy Stringer Brochure here (2.4MB pdf)
Or, for more information please e-mail: