Lewes and Ouse Valley

Malling Down - Nigel Symington / Sussex Wildlife TrustMalling Down - Nigel Symington / Sussex Wildlife Trust

Celebrating wildlife and wild habitats from the top of the downs to the depths of the Ouse.

Sussex Wildlife Trust


360 view

The Lewes and Ouse Valley Living Landscape Vision is to see a local community engaging fully with their local environment as a place for tranquillity, recreation and wildlife.

Sussex Wildlife Trust is working to bring biodiversity to everyone’s attention. We want to share the fantastic wildlife of our two nature reserves (Malling Down and Southerham) with those that live so close to it. Our work helps people to enjoy their local landscape and informs people on how the chalk hills around their town function, what wildlife can be found here and how we manage our reserves.

With over 40% of the Lewes Downs owned and managed by Sussex Wildlife Trust it is important that we work with our neighbours to enhance its potential value for wildlife. Improving the ecological status of the Ouse is an important task as is bringing the role of biodiversity in flood prevention to the fore.

Virtual tour by Mike McFarlane 

360 view

What's happening?

Our work in the Lewes area has a strong focus on bringing our wildlife agenda to the local community. Through the work of our Lewes Community Wildlife Officer we are providing a full programme of community events in the area. From garden wildlife surveys in the town to wildlife walks over the Downs our popular events are aimed at people of all ages. Everyone has the chance to learn about the glow-worms, dragonflies, birds, flowers, moths, butterflies - and all the other great wildlife on their doorstep.

Through these events the importance of habitat management is highlighted so that people will in turn understand their role in creating a Living Landscape for the area. From management of the Downs, to water usage to wildlife gardening, people can play their part in making the Lewes area a Living Landscape.

We want to see our nature reserves as stepping stones of high quality chalk grassland across the Lewes Downs and as such we will be working with other local landowners to share experience and best practice.

Start date: 2011

Scheme area: 1,775 hectares

Trust reserves within the scheme

Southerham and Malling Down

This scheme is helping species including...

Our management of the chalk grassland at these sites provides perfect conditions for a wide diversity of plants and invertebrates. You can find bee orchids, burnt orchids and round-headed rampion – ‘the pride of Sussex’. In the spring and summer this downland is alive with day-flying moths and butterflies - important populations of Adonis blue and silver-spotted skipper can be found here.  

This scheme is also...

Helping wildlife adapt to climate change, providing habitat for pollinating insects, improving access for people, providing recreational opportunities, improving water quality, reducing flood risk.


Natural England, Environment Agency, South Downs National Park Authority, Lewes & Ouse Valley eco-nomics, Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust, Lewes Railway Land Wildlife Trust, Local Authorities, Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre, Butterfly Conservation, Trees on the River Uck

To find out more

Email Sussex Wildlife Trust | Tel: 01273 492630 | Lewes and Ouse Valley | Lewes Wildlife

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