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Join the Greater Brighton Cycle Challenge to discover the Living Coast

A celebration of cycling this month gives you the opportunity to explore the Living Coast, a UNESCO World Biosphere Region that includes the University of Sussex campus.

Three cycling challenges are being organised on Sunday 19 May by the Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere Partnership (which includes the University of Sussex), Brighton Housing Trust and Chailey Heritage (just beyond the Biosphere boundary).

Riders on the 60-mile Classic Ride will experience the beauty of the chalk cliffs, river valleys and South Downs landscape as they closely follow the boundary of the Living Coast. The 30-mile Devil’s Dyke Loop heads out onto the Downs, taking in the spectacular views from Devil’s Dyke before joining the Classic Ride.

Both routes start and finish at Preston Park in Brighton, where there’s also another option. The aim of the Around the World Challenge is to reach the combined target of 66,792 laps of the velodrome (40,075km) – the circumference of the world! You can turn up when you like and take to the track for as many or as few laps as you can manage.

Whichever of the three routes you go for, you can cycle just for fun or raise sponsorship for a charity of your choice.

Sign up as an individual or enter a team of riders. Your registration fee will go directly towards helping hundreds of rough sleepers or vulnerably housed people in Brighton & Hove, who are supported by Brighton Housing Trust (BHT). Sussex students have previously worked with BHT as part of our award-winning law clinics.

If cycling is not your thing, there are volunteering opportunities to help at Preston Park or with marshalling around the route.

Covering the area between the river Adur and the river Ouse, the Living Coast follows the South Downs National Park boundary and includes the University of Sussex campus.

It includes both land and sea, bringing together our three local environments:

  • countryside – part of the South Downs National Park
  • city and towns – including Brighton & Hove, Lewes, Newhaven and Shoreham, Southwick and Telscombe
  • coast – including the Marine Conservation Zone chalk reef and extending two nautical miles out to sea

The Living Coast is part of a network of more than 600 Biosphere Reserves from all parts of the world. These Biosphere Reserves aim to co-ordinate nature conservation, sustainable socio-economic development, and environmental education within their boundaries for the benefit of all who live and work within them.