Ecosystem Services in Sussex
The landscapes and seascapes of Sussex are rich in natural and cultural heritage: from the forested ridges and pastoral landscapes of the High and Low Weald to the dramatic white chalk cliffs and downland of the South Downs National Park; and from the open heathland and river valleys of the Wealden Greensand in the west to the flat open marshlands of the coastal plains which transition into a highly diverse seabed beneath shallow south coast seas.
These landscapes provide us with a multitude of natural assets which have shaped our settlement patterns and industry for as long as half a million years. One of the first records of hominid occupation in Britain comes from Boxgrove, near Chichester where hand axes, manufactured from flint were used to hunt large fauna such as rhinoceroses and bison. Could this be one of the first examples of ecosystem services in Sussex?
Over the course of human history we have utilised the rich and diverse resources provided by our landscapes and as such our county has undergone major transformations to provide goods and services for our growing population.
Today our Sussex landscapes are divided into 7 National Character Areas which are defined by natural areas of distinctive character, derived from their natural and cultural heritage. Each of these areas not only provide a sense of place and opportunities to enhance well-being for those living and visiting, they also provide a wide range of ecosystem services which benefit at societies locally, regionally and nationally.
Our vision at the Sussex Local Nature Partnership is to manage these landscapes to ensure the continued and improved provision of our ecosystem services.
To deliver this a comprehensive assessment of the ecosystem services across our National Character Areas has been undertaken and we are i n the process of identifying where these services are needed the most and what sites and habitats have the highest potential to deliver them.
Key Ecosystem Services in Sussex
Ecosystem Services and Projects by National Character Area
EcoServ: Mapping the performance and capabilities of Ecosystem Services in Sussex