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University of Sussex joins local coalition to engage and connect people with nature

The University of Sussex is joining a coalition of local organisations to celebrate and highlight the natural environment of the Brighton and Lewes local biosphere reserve.

Supported by Brighton & Hove City Council, Nature2020 will offer a year-long programme of events to actively engage more people in the conservation of local nature, supporting people from all walks of life to learn about, enjoy and care for the biosphere known as The Living Coast (TLC).

The initiative comes at the end of the UN Decade on Biodiversity, which provides a key opportunity to reflect on the state of wildlife and conservation both globally and locally. People from across the region are invited to take part and host events as part of the Nature2020 initiative.

Dr Katy Petherick, Public Engagement Coordinator for the School of Life Sciences, sits on the steering group for Nature2020. She said: “I’m really pleased to be representing the University of Sussex on the steering group for Nature2020. With the University recently declaring a climate emergency, Nature2020 enables us to engage with people outside of academia who are as committed to positive action as we are.

“The University has a wide variety of research projects and campus initiatives that support wildlife and conservation, and I hope that staff and students embrace the chance to get involved with sharing and discussing these with the local community.”

Also on the steering group alongside the University of Sussex and Brighton and Hove City Council are the University of Brighton, Dorothy Stringer School, Royal Pavilion & Museums, ONCA, Sussex Wildlife Trust, Big Nature and Butterfly Conservation Sussex.

A spokesperson for TLC said: “UNESCO world Biospheres are designated as global examples of sustainable development, with nature conservation, environmental engagement and education part of their key purpose.

“Nature2020 is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to celebrate and learn about our world-class environment of Downs, towns and coast, bringing people and nature together to inspire a positive future, today. Together we are The Living Coast.’”

Individuals, local organisations and groups are welcome to join the steering group at Grand Parade café on Wednesday 9 October at 4.30pm, for pre-launch networking, further information and event planning support, as well as a free kombucha by Old Tree Brewery.

To find out more, please get in touch with Katy Petherick directly on or visit the website at

By: Stephanie Allen
Last updated: Monday, 16 September 2019