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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

Sussex Life - - Front Page -

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!”

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