Sussex Coast

About us

Sussex Wildlife Trust is the lead partner on this exciting project with Marine Conservation Society (MCS), Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) and Brighton SEA LIFE.

The Wild Coast Sussex project ran from October 2020 and came to an end in March 2024.

Sussex Wildlife Trust was awarded a grant by the National Lottery Heritage Fund for our Wild Coast Sussex Project thanks to money raised by National Lottery Players.

Wild Coast Sussex inspires Sussex communities to care for the marine environment and enable them to protect their local coast and sea.

Sussex Wildlife Trust is the lead partner on this exciting project with Marine Conservation Society (MCS), Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) and Brighton SEA LIFE. Our partnership champions the rare and precious marine wildlife found locally, highlighting the extraordinary kelp forests, seahorses and rays once abundant in Sussex which could recover and thrive if given a chance.

The project has four main aims:

  • Inspire and connect people to the Sussex coast and sea
  • Engage people in direct action to protect the Sussex coast and sea
  • Enable learning and activities that encourage people to make positive lifestyle choices and behaviour change to reduce negative impacts on the Sussex Coast and sea
  • Empower people to share experience and influence others to protect the Sussex coast and sea

We are working with primary schools, young people (aged 12-25) and commercial fishermen, as well as the wider community and general public and take them on a journey to make a positive difference to the crisis in the health of the sea.

Wild Coast Sussex are working with communities all along the Sussex coast with extra focus on Hastings, Bexhill, Eastbourne, Brighton, Worthing and Selsey.

Project activities include a Wild Beach education programme for children, onsite and digital interpretation, a programme of citizen science surveys, fun new coastal activities and social events including beach cleans, a volunteer training programme, projects with young adults (aged 16-25) to develop local debate, action and opportunities for local marine conservation, and recycling of marine litter, including end of life fishing gear and ghost gear removed from the sea.

Meet the team

Ella (she/her)

Project Manager

Ella manages the whole project and also runs Wild Beach classes for Primary schools (super cute) all along the Sussex coast, teaching the kids to love and care about their local coastline, and helping them to protect it.

“I love the ocean, and it’s amazing to pass on my passion and knowledge to the young minds of Sussex. To see kids’ faces light up when they learn something new and incredible about the marine world is so rewarding.”

When Ella isn’t working you’ll most likely find her by (or in!) the sea. She’s lived and worked in the tropics, but constantly assures us and the kids that the ocean around the UK is just as exciting and fascinating!🌍🦀

Sophie A (she/her)

Project Officer

Sophie is one of the Project Officers, and is involved in creating a scheme for fishermen to recycle their old fishing gear and removing old fishing gear (also known as ghost gear) from the ocean. 🐟 She also works closely with SEA LIFE Brighton, one of the project partners, and organises events for 16-25 year olds.

“Having grown up in Sussex I am incredibly passionate about my local wildlife, and love that my role on the project allows me to connect young people with the nature here.”

When Sophie isn’t working, you can find her singing in her choir, playing with the Brighton School of Samba, or hanging out with friends/her cat!

Sophie M (she/her)

Assistant Project Officer

Sophie M is standing in front of the sea with her arms out and is smiling and wearing a Wild Coast Sussex T-shirt

Sophie M assists the team in organising events for 16-25 year olds and works on our social media and communications.

“I love being able to help people connect with their local coast. There is so much to discover here that you might not realise at first. It’s great seeing communities become inspired to protect their ocean.”🐬

When Sophie M isn’t working, you will most likely find her up a bouldering wall, doing yoga or out in nature.

Sophia (she/her)

Project Coordinator (Maternity Cover)

2 Sophie’s and a Sophia!? (yes it can get confusing)

Sophia works at the Marine Conservation Society, with part of her time dedicated to Wild Coast Sussex. She leads events and engagement with young people aged 16-25.

“I’m really interested in social and environmental justice, and the links between them. Being able to work on a project that connects people to the sea and environment, and to discuss intersectional climate issues is fascinating and informative. I always want to keep on learning”

When Sophia isn’t working, you’re most likely to find her reading, spending time with friends, and by or in the sea.🌊

Thank you to the LIFE programme of the European Union for their funding.