6 eco-friendly activities to enjoy in Sussex
- Credit: Unsplash/Marc Najera
World Environment Day on June 5 shines a light on the many ways that we can protect our natural habitats, from growing trees to rewilding our gardens and cleaning up our rivers and coasts.
We've rounded up some of the best ways to show your support in Sussex on the day and beyond, as well as the top places to stop, appreciate and help care for the wonderful abundance of nature and wildlife on our doorstep
Discover the new nature trails at Amberley Museum
Meander through the gorgeous nature trails at Amberley Museum, which have been refurbished with new information boards and children’s activities thanks to funding from the South Downs National Park Authority’s COVID Recovery Fund. Head to the Hillside Trail for breath-taking views of the Arun Valley, or opt for a more leisurely walk on the Lower Trail. You can expect to see birds, insects, flowers and all other things bright and beautiful in abundance. Keep an eye out for falcons and buzzards, and your ears open for the sounds of skylarks and lapwings. There is a special bird watching area, as well as a bug hotel where you can see and add to the crawling creatures that live there. Book your visit in advance via the website.
Observe wildlife at Ditchling Beacon
Ditchling Beacon, the highest point in East Sussex, is brimming with luscious greenery. It's home to many common orchids, however two rare orchids also bloom in the area, and are well worth searching for on any trip. In late spring, the marsh orchid is in bloom and can be spotted by its dark pink colour and height. Pack up your picnic hamper for a alfresco lunch while admiring the panoramic views from the summit (barbecues are not permitted) - just be sure to leave no trace.
READ MORE: 5 great places for wild camping in Sussex
Swot up on the special qualities of the South Downs National Park
The renowned park has three films that exhibit the magic of the Downs, offering a great way to learn more about what makes the area so special. The first focuses the wildlife, with close-ups of the birds and insects that roam there The second follows the Guardians of the Woodlands who help manage the area and make sure it stays beautiful. Finally, the third explores the journey of Nina Williams, a forester whose love for the woods came from her childhood adventures at Kingley Vale’s 2,000-year-old yew forests. All of these can be viewed on the website – snuggle up with the family and learn about the wonder of nature right here in our county.
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Do a litter pick at Seven Sisters
There's nothing quite like the view of the chalk cliffs towering over the ocean to take your breath away. While you’re strolling, you could do a litter pick across the area to make sure the stunning landscape, waters and the accompanying creatures that live in them are taken care of. Pack a bag, some rubber gloves and see how much you can pick up. If you're with the children, you could even turn it into a competition, with the winner getting dibs on where to go for a treat afterwards. There are lots of local clean-up teams to consider joining if you would like to do this regularly, or you could even join the 'plogging' movement for jogging and picking up litter as you go.
Arundel Wetland Centre
Captivating birds roam the waters at this stunning nature reserve in West Sussex. Take a stroll or embark on a boat trip to quietly observe the habitats. In spring, look out for the cute new additions to the area, including ducklings, goslings and lapwing chicks. Little ones can hand feed the birds, helping them get even closer to nature. Budding photographers can take their long-lens cameras to take snaps of their fascinating finds too – just make sure not to startle any you are photographing.
Volunteer at Sussex Green Living
Got some spare time on your hands? Sussex Green Living is always looking for volunteers. The charity is all about offering practical ideas for environmentally friendly living and ways to reduce our negative impact on the natural world, with talks and sessions that inspire action and debate. Plus, it has a great guide to setting up a recycling scheme in your local community. Keep your eyes peeled for the Sussex Green Hub, launching on July 31. sussexgreenliving.co.uk