Earlier this year, people around the world took part in the City Nature Challenge, an annual global citizen science project collecting information about local wildlife.
Our local results showed a 33% increase in community participation on 2021, placing Brighton & Eastern Downs fourth on the leaderboard of UK cities taking part.
The most commonly observed species within the region were ground ivy, common hawthorn, common daisy, and cowslip.
More than 67,000 participants took part in this year’s challenge, recording nearly 1.7 million observations of over 50,000 species. Fourteen UK city regions took part, with nearly 4,000 citizen scientists recording 57,000 observations of 3,854 species.
The Living Coast took part in the City Nature Challenge for the third year as part of the Brighton & Eastern Downs region. This is an 800 square km area spanning from the River Arun in the west to Eastbourne in the east, also covering the South Downs National Park.
Across the Brighton & Eastern Downs region, over 7,000 observations were made – 1,000 more than in the 2021 City Nature Challenge.
The area identified more than 1,300 species, a 27% uplift compared to 2021, making Brighton & Eastern Downs region the UK’s top location for species identification.
Engaging with nature and wildlife
Councillor Jamie Lloyd, Deputy Chair of the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee, said: “The 2022 City Nature Challenge results show how local residents are increasingly engaging with nature and wildlife in and around Brighton & Hove.
“Not only does this challenge help the public to get closer to nature and learn more about the biodiversity around them, the data collected will also be used to inform local and national conservation work.
“As Brighton & Hove is part of The Living Coast, the UK’s only UNESCO-designated urban biosphere, the area boasts a unique range of biodiversity. However, this is under threat because of climate change.
“In December 2018, Brighton & Hove City Council declared a climate and biodiversity crisis, and in 2021 we launched our Carbon Neutral 2030 programme. One key area for the programme’s future development is placing a greater emphasis on biodiversity and restoring nature.
“However, we need the public’s support to achieve this. We all have a part to play to better protect and restore the natural habitats and wildlife in our local area, which in turn will help ensure Brighton & Hove’s rich biodiversity can be enjoyed for generations to come.”