UNESCO launches map of UK sites including The Living Coast 

A new map has been unveiled featuring all 58 United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) sites in the UK.

It includes biospheres, creative cties, global geoparks and World Heritage sites.

View the map

The map, illustrated by artist Tom Woolley, was launched by UNESCO to raise awareness of the breadth of natural, cultural and built heritage sites throughout the country.  

It features The Living Coast, our local UNESCO Biosphere that Brighton & Hove sits at the heart of, stretching from the South Downs to the coast. 

The Living Coast UNESCO Biosphere

The Living Coast was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2014. This recognises the region’s outstanding natural environments – the South Downs, the towns and the coast.

The Living Coast is a partnership of over 40 organisations including business, conservation, education, voluntary, and local government partners, with Brighton & Hove City Council as lead partner. 

This partnership aims to connect people and nature to inspire a more sustainable future.

Inspiring places on your doorstep

James Bridge, Chief Executive and Secretary-General of the UK National Commission for UNESCO said: 

“The new UNESCO in the UK map will inspire people for places to visit. It shows at a glance the breadth of amazing natural, cultural and built heritage designated by UNESCO as internationally significant in the UK. 

“This great map highlights places to explore, on your doorstep and further afield, both the famous and those to discover for the first time.”

A city to be proud of

Councillor Tim Rowkins, Chair of the City Environment, South Downs and the Sea Committee, said:

“We are proud to be part of the UK’s only urban biosphere. This UNESCO recognition reinforces our attractiveness as a destination and gives us yet another reason to take pride in our city and its incredible surroundings.

"It highlights our willingness to foster sustainable and equitable development that cares for both our environment and the people that live and work here.”

Martin Harris, chair of The Living Coast UNESCO Biosphere, said: “We are proud to be part of the UNESCO family with The Living Coast here in Sussex. 

“We work with many local organisations to connect people and nature, and to enjoy the South Downs, the towns and the coast. Our aim is to be a place of excellence for sustainability.”

Supported by the local visitor economy

This map of UNESCO sites is welcomed by several local tourism organisations, such as VisitBrighton, VisitLewes, the South Downs National Park, Brighton & Hove Museums, Brighton & Hove Buses, the i360, SoSussex, Shoreham Port, West Sussex Experience, the Newhaven Enterprise Zone, and more.

The Living Coast green, brown and blue logo and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve logo showing a heritage building in Greek classical style

Shaping the future of The Living Coast

With 2024 marking the 10-year anniversary of the designation, The Living Coast is planning for the next decade. 

You can share your thoughts, feedback and wishes for The Living Coast UNESCO Biosphere by completing a 10-minute survey.

More information

The map was produced by the UK National Commission for UNESCO as part of its Local to Global project. The project aims to develop a resilient network for UNESCO Designated Sites in the UK. 

The GREAT Campaign and The National Lottery Heritage Fund supported the map's creation, with thanks to National Lottery players.

Download the map from the UNESCO website.

Related news