A story of hope - recovery of Sussex kelp forests

Published: 24 Mar 2023

Recovery of Sussex underwater forests

We are celebrating two years since bottom-towed trawling was excluded from over 300km² of Sussex seas. This byelaw saw the largest inshore area of seabed protected on the south coast of England. It aimed to protect essential fish habitats and support the recovery of the lost kelp forests of Sussex. 

Now, two years on, the signs are positive. First-hand accounts describe early signs of kelp recovery and sightings of Electric Ray and Trigger Fish, unseen in the area for decades. This message of hope is emerging from the Sussex diving community and local fishers, and is also starting to be reflected by pioneering scientific research undertaken by Sussex Kelp Recovery Project partners to benchmark and monitor kelp recovery and the benefits it provides for people, nature and climate.

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Woodlands and hedgerows are bursting to life all over Sussex. Download our free spring flowers spotting sheet to help you identify what you see when you're out and about.

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