Benfield Valley Nature Reserve
Benfield Valley Local Nature Reserve is the last green lung in Brighton and Hove that links Hangleton and Portslade to the South Downs yet it is under threat to building development. Benfield Valley has already been sited as an area of importance which makes it even more baffling that this area has even been considered as a housing development site.
Supporting both deciduous woodland and chalk grassland this site is not only a hub for wildlife, but an important greenspace for locals too. Benfield Valley is situated in a deprived area where locals are already limited to accessible greenspace. This is an area where families and dog walkers can get outside, exercise, reconnect with nature and relieve daily stresses.
There have been statements made towards this site about it having “lower ecological value,” . However, walking around the reserve, I have witnessed a host of wildlife. I am greeted by trees, a variety of wildflowers, insects, birds, mammals, as well as the common lizard which can be seen basking in the sun during the summer months makes this statement hard to accept.
Access and preservation of local greenspace is so important to the community and the wildlife that lives alongside us. I sincerely hope that the possible development of this site is reconsidered.