Alking to someone like Nicholas Crane, the former co-host of nation-traversing TV show Coast, it’s abundantly clear that current discourse around our environment is just crying out for like-minded individuals. There’s a sense that he can get even the most
waves because it’s a very soft coast,” he agrees.
“Whereas the west coast of Britain is much harder, it’s old red sandstone or granite, very hard rocks that form these natural sea defences, these cliffs. In the south east it’s all very glacial boulder clay, very soft and easy to erode, and you can get coasts receding at the most phenomenal rate. So, yes, it is a coastline facing accelerated change.
“The Sussex coast is slightly different, in that that chalk is much more resilient than East Anglian coastlines. Although you have the big collapses at places like Birling Gap and so on, and it is no less alarming when you suddenly see a huge chunk of the White Cliffs disappearing.”
Thankfully for residents hoping to follow Crane’s lead and re-engage with their surroundings, Sussex has one distinct advantage in the form of Brighton’s towering i360. Befitting of the city’s penchant for peculiarities, the British Airwayssponsored mobile viewing platform gives “spectacular” views of the surrounding county and its associated geography and appears to Crane to be a crucial trailblazer in the effort to make ecologism accessible.
“It’s a real buzz,” he says. “It’s like going in a flight without the carbon footprint, and the view is amazing.
“And what you see from up there is the geographical form of that bit of Sussex, especially if you do it at night where you see this multitude of lights that make up the urban areas and then this bosky wall of the South Downs where all of these Neolithic flint mines are and Iron Age hill forts; it really is something I would highly recommend!”