East Dean and Friston
Get in touch
Join Climate Friends
• No prior knowledge of climate change or wildlife needed
• No time-consuming meetings, membership fees
We also welcome contact from:
• Local businesses, landowners and land managers interested in partnership working
• Individuals and groups from outside the parish to link up activities
Please get in touch if you would like copies of project briefs or reports
We’d love to hear your views on our plans and suggestions for how to respond to climate change and biodiversity loss in the parish.
Nature recovery in our area – some background
Through the Environment Act (2021), the Government has set out a requirement for local authorities to put together Local Nature Recovery Strategies to create wildlife-rich places across England and connect them up.
The Act also strengthens the Biodiversity Duty of public authorities, and introduces
In July 2023 Natural England and the government launched the
Within the South Downs National Park, the #ReNature project aims to increase the area managed for nature in the National Park from the current 25% to at least 33%, which will be an increase of 13,000ha, by 2030. This is based upon the Government’s own national commitment of 30% of the UK being managed for nature by 2030.
Alongside this work, Defra launched the Farming in Protected Landscapes
(FiPL) Programme. Through this programme, farmers and land managers within protected landscapes can apply for funding to carry out one-off projects that:
• support nature recovery
• mitigate the impacts of climate change
• provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and cultural heritage
• support nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses.
Thank you so much, Residents for a Climate-Friendly Parish, for your enthusiasm. It’s all of us working to gather that will make change happen.
Climate Friends – Residents for a climate-friendly parish
Climate Friends is an informal network of people in East Dean and Friston who are spearheading a parish-wide approach to climate action and nature recovery.
It is for anyone keen to see more local action in response to climate change and biodiversity loss.
The group includes residents of Birling Gap, Crowlink, East Dean, Friston & Gayles.
Members can commit in whichever way and to whatever level they choose.
We now have 70 members – see below about how to join and get in touch.
Since August 2023 Climate Friends has been operating as an unincorporated association with a constitution, committee and bank account. This enables us to apply for and administer grant-funding in pursuit of our aims.
Our first two funding applications have been successful.
Nature Recovery and Climate Action in the parish of East Dean & Friston
This is a project to identify non-residential land areas in the parish suitable for nature recovery and to link up wildlife areas. Climate Friends won a grant of just over £5,000 from the South Downs National Park Authority for this project. We have commissioned the consultancy Wild Business to carry out initial mapping.
We are also expanding our partnership with key stakeholders and landowners to take this forward.
Wildlife Verges Project
East Dean & Friston Parish Council agreed to fund and commission an ecological survey to identify roadside verges for designation as wildlife verges.
The survey, carried out by ecologist Laurie Jackson, covers publicly and privately-owned roadside as well as other green spaces.
Five road verges were identified as potential wildlife verges in:
• Birling Gap Road
• Downsview Lane
• Gilberts Drive
• Old Willingdon Road (2 sites)
The report concluded that there are significant opportunities to enhance a network of green spaces and wildlife corridors within East Dean & Friston parish.
These recommendations have been submitted to East Sussex County Council Highways for consideration. A decision is expected at the end of the year.
Climate Friends has submitted a proposal to the Parish Council for a community project to take the report’s recommendations forward.
Who we’re working with
• The South Downs National Park Authority
• The National Trust
• Forestry England
• Landowners and managers
• East Dean & Friston Parish Council
• East Dean & Friston Residents’ Association
• Sussex Wildlife Trust
• East Sussex County Council/Wealden District Council
• Friends of the South Downs
• Council for the Protection of Rural England
Events & activities
Local Nature Recovery Strategies
East Sussex and West Sussex County Councils are working together on 2 Local Nature Recovery Strategies for Sussex. Over the next few months, they will be developing events and other ways you can get involved with the preparation of these strategies.
Find out more on the Sussex Nature Partnership website.
The South Downs National Park Authority’s Climate Change Adaption Plan aims for the Authority to be Net Zero by 2030 and the National Park as a whole by 2040.