The University of Brighton is currently looking for volunteers for a pilot case study of people who love nature and are currently living in the Brighton and Lewes Downs Biosphere Reserve (BLDBR).
Staff and students have been lending the Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust a hand planting hundreds of trees in the local river catchment. The trust were recently awarded funding to plant 5,000 trees in an upstream catchment of the River Adur. The trees will create valuable habitat, store carbon and control the river flows in the upstream riparian areas.
Dr Bilotta, who lectures in Physical Geography and Environmental Science in our school, has already volunteered. “Evidence suggests that current extinction rates are 1,000 times higher than natural background rates of extinction. It is predicted that future extinction rates will be up to 10,000 times higher. The crisis is caused almost entirely by us – humans. About 99% of currently threatened species are at risk from human activities; one of the key threats driving these extinctions is habitat-loss, particularly deforestation.
“In addition to causing habitat loss, evidence suggests that deforestation globally accounts for about 12% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions- roughly as much as the contribution from the world’s cars, planes, ships and trains taken together. These statistics are alarming, but we don’t have to sit back and watch – we can act locally to help reduce our impact.”
Matt Turley, is a PhD student in our school has also been volunteering on the project and has some useful advice.
“Volunteering with local conservation organisations is a great way to contribute to limiting these alarming trends whilst providing valuable opportunities to meet interesting people and gain useful experiences for your CV. The Ouse and Adur Rivers trust are one of many local organisations that are keen on receiving help from volunteers, and it isn’t just tree planting that they need help with. There are also other activities such as stream restoration and routine biological surveys, which are conducted throughout the year, for which assistance is required”.
If you would like to know more about how to get involved with The Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust you can find out about upcoming events here