Brighton and Lewes Downs (United Kingdom)

Situated on the south-eastern coast of Britain, this biosphere reserve  - the first in the United Kingdom since 1977- covers an area of 38,921 hectares. It includes the town of Brighton and part of the South Downs National Park and has 371,500 permanent residents. The region’s main terrestrial landscape is chalkdown, with a coast dominated by impressive chalk cliffs in the east and an urbanised plain in the west. The site supports more than 200 species on international conservation lists and over a thousand locally rare species. Because of the diversity of the region’s rare wildlife habitats, its rich heritage and proximity to London, tourism is particularly well developed, with up to 12 million visitors a year. Other economic activities include agriculture and commercial sea fishing.