Biodiversity

Biodiversity matters because without it, the world would cease to exist as we know it and we would not survive.

Technically it’s the scientific measure for the range of species, habitats and ecosystems across the planet. Essential for humans and wildlife, it’s responsible for the food we eat and the air we breathe. On a local level we depend on it for protection from threats like pollution and flooding and on a global scale it can prevent climate breakdown.

What is Biodiversity and why does it matter in Seaford?

Back garden.

Seaford Gardens, Balconies and Back Yards

Change of land use and farming practices account for much of the loss of biodiversity. Agriculture has become largely a monoculture, the soils are depleted and food is grown with fertilisers and pesticides that impoverish the range and abundance of plants and animals.

We now know how important our own outdoor spaces are in attracting insects, birds and other animals.

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Road verge in Seaford with wild flowers.

Seaford’s Green spaces and verges

Urban green spaces are increasingly important and often under threat from development. Our verges and public open spaces can provide vital green corridors, connecting up what would otherwise be islands for wildlife.

Seaford is a part of the Greenhavens Network which was set up to support community groups who are volunteering to protect green spaces and bring them to life.

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Seaford Head Nature Reserve and other Nature Reserves in Seaford

We are blessed with a remarkable nature reserve on the eastern edge of Seaford.  The Seaford Head Local Nature Reserve is home to many nationally rare and significant species of birds, plants and insects.

Fifty percent of the reserve is owned by Seaford Town Council and managed by the Sussex WildlifeTrust.

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Poppy beach.

Biodiversity and the Seaford Coast

Most of the news on biodiversity is pretty depressing and the seas are no exception. However, here in Sussex we have two particular things to celebrate. One of these is the Sussex Kelp Forest project, a Sussex WildlifeTrust initiative in partnership with other organisations.

The other is the reduction in plastics due to the success of beach cleans by groups such as Plastic Free Seaford. These were celebrated locally on Worlds Ocean day by the Seaford sub group of Lewes Extinction Rebellion.

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Garden with diverse plants growing.

Biodiverse soils in and around Seaford

Soil structure supports biodiversity by providing a diverse range of habitats for the many organisms that live within it. In turn, soil organisms, such as earthworms, can directly alter the structure of the soil. Plant root systems release compounds which can bind soil particles together.

The relationship between soil structure and soil communities is complex and different groups of organisms respond differently to changes in soil structure.

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Rewilding.

Rewilding and Restoration in Sussex and Seaford

There is a movement today to Rewild areas of land to increase biodiversity. More than half of our species are in decline and 15% is threatened with extinction. Native woodlands cover a 2.5% of our land.

Conservation has worked hard for decades, with passion and dedication, to save wildlife. But the rewilding movement feels it’s time to move beyond saving certain species and patches of nature.

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Seaford Consumers and Biodiversity

By choosing to buy certain products we have an effect on biodiversity in the Seaford area and in other parts of the world. Many of the foods we eat are grown in unsustainable ways and often by clearing large areas of pristine forest. For instance palm oil, which is used in many foods and other products such as shampoo, is particularly destructive of habitats and wildlife. Greenpeace has further information on this.

https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/news/5-problems-with-sustainable-palm-oil/

As consumers we can change the destruction of biodiversity by finding out where the things we buy are grown or made and how they are manufactured. We also need to demand that shops and suppliers take biodiversity into consideration when sourcing their products. Find out more by joining organisations like Ethical Consumer or use the internet to do your own research.

Let’s share this information and persuade others in Seaford to consider Biodiversity when they go to the shops. Perhaps this is a project for SEA to undertake, together with the alliance of groups who are all concerned about biodiversity.  Our behaviour has a direct effect on our environment; we can change the way we act as consumers and make a difference!

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