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West Sussex is a county in South East England on the English Channel coast. The ceremonial county comprises the districts of Adur, Arun, Chichester, Horsham, and Mid Sussex, and the boroughs of Crawley and Worthing. Covering an area of 1,991 square kilometres (769 sq mi), West Sussex borders Hampshire to the west, Surrey to the north, and East Sussex to the east. The county town and only city in West Sussex is Chichester, located in the south-west of the county. In the 2011 census, West Sussex recorded a population of 806,900.

The county has a long history of human settlement dating back to the Lower Paleolithic era. The Romans conquered West Sussex's indigenous Britons, and incorporated the area as a Roman province. During the Early Middle Ages, the Saxons settled the area, establishing the Kingdom of Sussex in 477, which lasted until c. 827 when the kingdom was annexed by Wessex.

The West Sussex County Council was established in 1889 within the ceremonial County of Sussex. After the reorganisation of local government in 1974, the ceremonial function of the historic county of Sussex was divided into two separate counties, West Sussex and East Sussex. The existing East and West Sussex councils took control respectively, with Mid Sussex and parts of Crawley being transferred to the West Sussex administration from East Sussex.

West Sussex has a range of scenery, including wealden, downland and coastal. The highest point of the county is Blackdown, at 280 metres (919 ft). It has a number of stately homes including Goodwood, Petworth House and Uppark, and castles such as Arundel Castle and Bramber Castle. Over half the county is protected countryside, offering walking, cycling and other recreational opportunities.

Climate action[edit | edit source]

see List of climate assemblies#West Sussex

Biodiversity[edit | edit source]

Community projects[edit | edit source]

  • Wilder Horsham District,, 5 year project, begun in October 2020, working closely with local communities and landowners to deliver a Nature Recovery Network for Horsham District.
  • Gatwick Greenspace Partnership,, community project working to benefit people, wildlife and the countryside between Horsham, Crawley, Horley, Reigate and Dorking.

Sussex Wildlife Trust[edit | edit source]

The Sussex Wildlife Trust (SWT) is a conservation charity which aims to protect natural life in Sussex. It was founded in 1961 and is one of 46 wildlife trusts across the UK and the Isle of Man and Alderney. As of 2019, it has 33,000 members and manages 2,000 hectares (5,000 acres) of land for nature. It is a registered charity and in the year to 31 March 2019 it had an income of £5.7 million and expenditure of £4 million, resulting in net income of £1.7 million.

The SWT manages twenty-six nature reserves in the county. Nineteen are Sites of Special Scientific Interest, one is a national nature reserve, eleven are local nature reserves, eight are Special Areas of Conservation, three are Special Protection Areas, three are Ramsar sites and seven are Nature Conservation Review sites. Its headquarters at Woods Mill, south of Henfield, is also a nature reserve with a lake, woodland and meadows.

The historic county of Sussex is divided into the administrative counties of East Sussex and West Sussex. The South Downs stretches across the county from west to east. This area is chalk and to the north is the Weald, which is composed of heavy clays and sand. The coast has a succession of holiday towns such as Brighton, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis and Worthing.

Rewilding[edit | edit source]

Knepp Wildland[edit | edit source]

Knepp Wildland is the first major lowland rewilding project in England. It comprises 1,400 hectares (3,500 acres; 5.4 square miles) of former arable and dairy farmland in the grounds of Knepp Castle, in West Sussex, England.

Since 2000 when the conversion from intensive agriculture started the land now supports an 'extraordinary abundance' of many rare species including turtle doves, barbastelle bats, slow-worms and grass snakes; it has become a major nesting site for nightingales; a breeding hotspot for purple emperor butterflies; the site of the first white stork chicks raised in the wild in England for 600 years, and is home to the first beavers living in the wild in Sussex for 400 years. On 17 November 2021 the very rare Vagrant Emperor dragonfly (Anax ephippiger) was discovered in Pond Field.

see also: Rewilding UK, Video, (sections marked)

Coastal community activism[edit | edit source]

Wild Coast Sussex Project Launch
Authors: Sussex Wildlife Trust, Jul 20, 2020

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Community energy[edit | edit source]

Food activism[edit | edit source]

Housing and land[edit | edit source]

  • Sussex Community Housing Hub, established to provide essential support for communities across Sussex wishing to pursue successful community led housing projects. 'added 16:20, 17 December 2021 (UTC)

See also: Towards a more democratic and climate friendly way of meeting housing need across England, Housing UK news

Sustainable transport activism[edit | edit source]

Walking: Wikipedia: Footpaths in West Sussex (category), South Downs Way

Waterways: The River Wey and Wey Navigations Community Site, non-commercial site of over 200,000 words all about the River Wey including information and images about the source of the Wey at Black Down in West Sussex - The Wey & Arun Canal Trust - Wikipedia: Wey and Arun Canal

Resources[edit | edit source]

Networks and sustainability initiatives[edit | edit source]


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Events[edit | edit source]


April 12 - 13 Eco Open Houses Worthing

News and comment[edit | edit source]


The activist entrepreneurs running zero-waste shops, Aug 6[1]


West Sussex community solar farm delivers 5MW to grid, Jun 28[2]


Balcombe 'fracking village' gets green light to go 100% solar, october 1[3]

Crawley Council sees itself as a carbon cutting champion, August 10[4] The council is keen to hear public suggestions for CO2 reduction across the town and is asking people to get their thinking caps on and email in bright ideas.


Local Food in Chichester; Report published online, May 5[5]

Campaigns[edit | edit source]

  • A green new deal for Gatwick,, 25 November 2020
  • Save Our South Coast Alliance an alliance of individuals and groups involved in promoting the environment, community, and economy of Chichester's coastal plain. "...excessive centrally allocated housing quotas handed down from government threaten our ability and ambition to protect our communities, environment, wildlife and economy from the inevitable impact of climate change on our low lying coastal plain." added 17:46, 24 August 2020 (UTC)

See also[edit | edit source]

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External links[edit | edit source]

West Sussex W

References[edit | edit source]

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