An amazing day outdoors was enjoyed by 70 children from 6 primary schools in Brighton & Hove exploring The Living Coast in July to learn about the special world-class environment of our Downs, Towns and Coast.
View the video of the day to share the schoolchildren’s experience!
The day was part of the Brighton & Hove environmental educational project (BHee) that is funded by Brighton & Hove City Council, which supports local state schools to embed sustainability and eco-learning into all aspects of school life.
The children were specially selected to represent their school as eco-councillors, bike champions or science leaders and arrived accordingly, by bike or public bus.
The schoolchildren started their day on Beacon Hill Nature Reserve by Rottingdean, discovering the flowers, butterflies, invertebrates and birds that live on chalk grassland, including fragrant orchids, gatekeeper butterflies and meadow grasshoppers. They watched and listened to the skylarks singing and made skylark kites.
On the beach, they explored the rockpools, discovering a huge array of marine species including a lobster, compass jellyfish and various types of crab. They finished the day with a two minute beach clean after leaders explained the detrimental effects of plastic and rubbish on the marine environment.
One child commented “Best school trip ever!! I was amazed by how many creatures lived in the long grass on the Downs and how many different plants and flowers there were. I learnt that six spot burnet moths came from a stripy caterpillar and I never knew you could find lobsters in the rockpools so near to the downs.”
Katie Eberstein of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, who deliver the BHee project working with Resource Futures said “The teachers and the children all loved exploring and discovering the wealth of wildlife on the downs and the coast, working as a team and meeting new people.”
Rich Howorth of The Living Coast UNESCO World Biosphere Region said “It was an incredibly valuable experience for our local children to connect with the world on their doorstep, to understand first-hand its richness and their relationship to it, so that they can become its active guardians in the future.”